Can Spinal Stenosis Be Treated With Physical Therapy?

Can you reverse spinal stenosis?

As many as 11% of Americans have spinal stenosis and live with back pain and symptoms such as numbness and tingling sensations in their arms and legs.

While spinal stenosis isn’t reversible, treatment is available to alleviate your pain and restore your mobility and quality of life..

Will I end up in a wheelchair with spinal stenosis?

If you experience pseudo claudication that makes it difficult to walk or move around, you will be considered for benefits from the SSA. Chronic pain, numbness, or weakness in your legs could make tasks like walking or driving very difficult. You may need to use a cane, walker, or wheelchair to get around.

How do you prevent spinal stenosis from getting worse?

If you already have spinal stenosis, getting regular exercise and using proper body mechanics may help reduce the chances of your spinal stenosis from becoming worse. Exercise, when done properly, is a fantastic way to strengthen your spine and protect it from the everyday effects of wear and tear.

Is walking bad for spinal stenosis?

Walking is a suitable exercise for you if you have spinal stenosis. It is low-impact, and you can easily vary the pace as needed. Consider a daily walk (perhaps on your lunch break or as soon as you get home).

Is Spinal stenosis a crippling disease?

Stiffness, pain, numbness, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, or legs. Balance and coordination problems, such as shuffling or tripping while walking. Cervical spinal stenosis can be crippling if the spinal cord is damaged.

What happens if you let spinal stenosis go untreated?

Rarely, untreated severe spinal stenosis may progress and cause permanent: Numbness. Weakness. Balance problems.

What is the best treatment for spinal stenosis?

Your doctor may prescribe:Pain relievers. Pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen (Aleve, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may be used temporarily to ease the discomfort of spinal stenosis. … Antidepressants. … Anti-seizure drugs. … Opioids.

What is considered severe spinal stenosis?

The Symptoms You may not notice any. But if the narrowing puts pressure on your spinal cord or nerve roots, you may have numbness, weakness, cramping, and pain in your arms and legs. In more severe cases, you may have trouble with your bowel, bladder, or having sex.

Is Spinal stenosis a form of arthritis?

Causes. The condition is commonly caused by wear-and-tear on the spine related to osteoarthritis. So, it’s more likely to happen as someone ages. But people with other types of arthritis and related conditions that affect the spine may develop spinal stenosis.

How quickly does spinal stenosis progress?

Spinal stenosis is generally not progressive. The pain tends to come and go, but it usually does not progress with time. The natural history with spinal stenosis, in the majority of patients, is that of episodic periods of pain and dysfunction.

What activities should be avoided with spinal stenosis?

What Is Spinal Stenosis?Avoid Excessive Back Extension. … Avoid Long Walks or Running. … Avoid Certain Stretches and Poses. … Avoid Loading a Rounded Back. … Avoid Too Much Bed Rest. … Avoid Contact Sports. … Consult a Physical Therapist. … Strengthen the Core and Hips.More items…•

How do you fix spinal stenosis without surgery?

There is no cure for spinal stenosis, but there are treatments to help relieve symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can ease swelling and pain. If they don’t do the trick, your doctor can prescribe higher-dose medication. Your doctor may also recommend cortisone injections.

How does spinal stenosis affect bowel movements?

If you have lumbar spinal stenosis, you may have trouble walking distances or find that you need to lean forward to relieve pressure on your lower back. You may also have pain or numbness in your legs. In more severe cases, you may have difficulty controlling your bowel and bladder.

What causes spinal stenosis to flare up?

Usually, spinal stenosis is caused by a gradual degenerative process (arthritis) in the lower spine. Bone spurs, inflammation, and malalignment can cause the narrowing around the nerves. Typical treatment of spinal stenosis starts with simple steps, including physical therapy, medications, and rest.

Can you live a normal life with spinal stenosis?

“The symptoms of spinal stenosis typically respond to conservative treatments, including physical therapy and injections.” Dr. Hennenhoefer says you can live a normal life with a spinal stenosis diagnosis and can work on improving your mobility and comfort.