Spinal Stenosis Specialist
Atlas Chiropractic, located in East Haven, CT, offers comprehensive health and wellness treatments to patients suffering from spinal stenosis and other physical ailments and injuries. Dr. Adam Church, DC, has been treating patients with these ailments in Connecticut for almost fifteen years.
Massage Therapy Q & A
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a condition wherein the spaces between the vertebrae along the spine become narrowed, placing pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This can be caused by age, as connective tissues thicken or spurs develop.
It can also be a hereditary condition or can result from spinal instability, injury, and accident trauma. Tumors can also create inflammation. Most often, spinal stenosis occurs in the lumbar, or lower back, region, causing pain in that region as well as the legs.
What Are Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?
The symptoms of spinal stenosis often involve patients experiencing pain in the back and extremities. This pain can range from minor, dull and throbbing to chronic, severe and sharp, depending on the severity of the condition. In addition, the pressure on the nerves can create major problems with coordination, power and feeling throughout the body. This can result in any or all of the following:
- Lack of balance
- Frequent falling
- Pain and difficulty with mobility
- Hot, cold, tingling, and numbness
How Is Chiropractic Used to Treat Spinal Stenosis?
Chiropractic can often be used as a remedy for symptoms of spinal stenosis and to encourage the body’s healing processes. The first step in treating this condition is to properly diagnose it, which is usually done via CT scan, MRI, or other forms of radiography or electromyography scanning. When a patient first visits a chiropractor after diagnosis, they will work together to develop an individualized whole-body approach to treatment.
This will involve spinal adjustments to balance out the system and alleviate pressure on the nerves. This will help to restore movement and relieve pain and stiffness. Patients will then undertake a treatment plan which could include diet, physical therapy or specific exercises designed to help restore feeling, flexibility, and motion.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
Back pain can be caused by a range of ailments and injury, by overuse resulting in soft tissue injuries, sprains, and strains, or bone fractures. It can be caused by herniated discs, by osteoarthritis in the spine, or by rare conditions like spondylitis, bacterial infections, and tumors.
Understanding the cause of lower back pain requires a thorough examination which may include CT, MRI, or other scans. Only when the cause of the ailment is clear can treatment begin.
What Symptoms Should Patients Not Ignore?
Any pain is a sign that something is wrong but some symptoms are certainly indicators of a more severe condition than others. Those who experience weakness in their extremities, whether it’s the legs, arms, or face, should see a doctor immediately. If the back pain radiates into the chest, the patient should immediately seek medical assistance.
Tenderness and pain in the rear lower leg could mean a potentially fatal blood clot. If back pain is causing respiratory troubles, the patient should seek medical assistance right away. All of these could be related to back problems or could indicate serious ailments like stroke or heart attack.
How Can a Chiropractor Help?
Chiropractors specialize in injuries to the back, spine, and nervous system. They engage in highly effective non-invasive treatments of musculoskeletal and nervous disorders. By treating the areas where the pain originates (which may not be where the patient feels the pain), they alleviate the injury, allowing patients to improve strength and mobility, and restore their health and wellness.
Treatment by a chiropractor will usually involve spinal manipulation, but can also involve specialized physical therapy and exercise routines custom-tailored to the individual needs of the patient. By setting goals for recovery and preventative efforts, a chiropractor can not only restore the health of a patient but can help to avoid further illness and injury in the future.