Spinal stenosis occurs when there is a narrowing of the nerve opening either around the spinal cord or nerve roots, causing symptoms similar to a pinched nerve or herniated disc. Most often occurring in older people, those with spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine usually have difficulty walking and the pain is either relieved by sitting down or bending forward. Additional symptoms include leg pain, achiness, heaviness or weakness in the lower back and legs. Spinal stenosis of the cervical region may cause sharp pain or an aching feeling down the arm.
A person can either be born with spinal stenosis or it can develop as a result of the degenerative processes of old age. Osteoarthritis, the main cause of spinal stenosis, as well as herniated discs are factors that cause the narrowing of the nerve spaces.
Chiropractic treatment, specifically traction and flexion-distraction techniques, is a non-invasive and effective treatment for spinal stenosis because it aims at opening up the nerve spaces in the spine while relieving pressure on the nerves and blood vessels. Additionally, chiropractic manipulation restores normal blood flow and nerve impulses within the spine.