Understanding Spinal Stenosis

Age-related shrinkage isn’t the only thing that narrows your spinal canal. A back injury can do it as well, and so can osteoarthritis, tumors, herniated discs, or thickened ligaments. Whatever the underlying cause, the outcome is the same: spinal stenosis

Sadly, there’s not much room in your spine to begin with, so when it starts to close in, it crowds all the nerves running in and through it until one of those nerves gets pinched. At that point, your nerve screams out in pain.

That’s where we come in. At Regency Pain & Therapy Institute, our team of expert medical professionals specializes in getting to the bottom of your spinal stenosis pain and solving those underlying issues, so you can get back to a pain-free life. 

Since spinal stenosis can stem from multiple conditions, we start by thoroughly investigating your symptoms to determine the culprit or culprits in your case. The treatment we recommend is as unique as you are. If you’re suffering from spinal stenosis, you know the pain can be excruciating. Here are a few things you might not know.

Spinal stenosis comes in two types

Two areas of your spine are susceptible to spinal stenosis: your neck and your lower back. 

Stenosis in your neck is called cervical stenosis, and it can affect your whole body. You may notice numbness or tingling in your arms and legs, you may feel off balance, you might feel pain in your neck, and you could even experience bladder and bowel problems. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms.

Lumbar spinal stenosis is what we call it when your spine narrows in your lower back region. Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis include pain, of course, as well as numbness and tingling in your legs and feet, cramps, and weakness in your lower extremities.

Spinal stenosis loves it when you exercise

We get it. The last thing you feel like doing when you’re in pain is exercising. But it could be the thing that brings you much-needed relief. But not just any exercise will do; in fact, some types could do more harm than good, so be sure to check in with us before starting a new workout.

We can suggest targeted exercises that increase your flexibility and strengthen the muscles that support your balance and increase mobility. Strengthening your core muscles can do a great deal to gird your spine and alleviate pressure and pain.

Age is the number one factor in spinal stenosis

Getting older takes its toll on all your body parts, especially your joints. And what’s your spine if not a long line of joints? Over time, even if you’re otherwise healthy, your spine changes — the ligaments begin to thicken, your discs slowly deteriorate, and your vertebrae fall out of alignment. 

You may even have spinal stenosis without knowing it. Past the age of 50, 95% of all spines have narrowed to some degree. It only becomes a problem, though, when that narrowing presses on a nerve and causes pain and other symptoms, which means you could be living with asymptomatic spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis is treatable

Since there are so many possible causes of spinal stenosis, there are just as many treatment options. Our team here at Regency Pain & Therapy Institute thoroughly evaluates your health, your symptoms, and the underlying condition before customizing a treatment plan to match your unique situation.

We may start by reducing inflammation, if that’s the main cause of your pain, then adding physical therapy, which is highly effective at relieving pressure and building a support system. Medication and corticosteroid injections prove effective as next-level treatments in many cases. 

We may perform a minimally invasive decompression procedure if you have lumbar spinal stenosis caused by thickened ligaments. And if you have bony structures pressing on your nerves and causing major mobility and functional challenges, you may be a candidate for surgery.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to live with the pain of spinal stenosis. If you’re experiencing any of the classic symptoms we’ve mentioned, especially if you’re 50 years or older, call us at 817-345-6225 to set up a consultation at our Mansfield, Texas office, or schedule it online today. 

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