Spinal problems - spinal Stenosis
Spinal Stenosis involves bony narrowing of the internal diameter of the spinal canal, at one or several levels in the spine.
It is more common in the lumbar region, where it is often associated with a small disc bulge and bony growth around the small spinal facet joints.This is called facet joint hypertrophy (overgrowth). It may cause back pain alone or lower back pain with sciatica.
Patients may suffer this as a birth defect, but more commonly the problem develops later in life as part of the ageing (degenerative) process.
Patients often give a very characteristic story of pain in the back and/or legs on walking ,which eases with sitting or bending. This combined with sciatic pain numbness and weakness in the legs and this is known as spinal claudication
Spinal stenosis can be treated via Osteopathic hands on treatment, but it is almost impossible to determine which patients will do well from the outset. Sometimes patients with more advanced MRI changes, and suffering to a greater extent, will progress better than those with lesser changes and symptoms, and on other occasions they will not.
Invariably Andrew Gilmour and Felix Cory-Wright find that the best way to determine whether treatment will help is to give a trial of 4 or 5 treatments and monitor progress carefully.
If there is little or no progress, then the opinion of a Spinal surgeon may be needed. Andrew Gilmour and his colleagues can arrange this for you.
Epidural injections or nerve root blocks can be helpful as the next stage on from manipulation and if all else fails surgery may be the final option.
Because surgery for spinal stenosis is usually extensive, the less aggressive treatment options are usually explored before resorting to this.