Stenosis is a narrowing or constriction of a space or passageway. In the spine stenosis is used to describe a narrowing of the spinal canal where the spinal cord is housed or narrowing of the foramen where nerves exit the spines. Spinal stenosis decreases the space that nerves and the spinal cord can move in, thus putting pressure on them and limiting their ability to move. It can be caused by arthritis of the joints in the spine, degeneration or injury to the discs, or thickening of ligaments.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis can include back pain, numbness and tingling, weakness, decreased coordination, cramping, and changes to bowel or bladder function. Prolonged walking and standing usually bring on the symptoms and many people feel relief with bending over and sitting.
What to expect at therapy
A therapist will evaluate your posture, flexibility, strength, sensation, spinal mobility, and balance. The therapist will discuss your goals and aim to get you pain relief and give you tips on managing your symptoms. Treatments may include the use of therapeutic modalities, hands-on manual therapy techniques, posture education, therapeutic exercise, and instruction in safe lifting.