Stenosis is a term that describes the narrowing of a space. When we're talking about your back, stenosis is when there is a narrowing of the space around the nerve roots that come out from the spinal cord.
What causes stenosis?
One common cause is from a disc bulge or herniation. This is when one of the discs between your vertebrae bulges out from where it belongs and if the bulge is bad enough, ruptures allowing the shock-absorbing material to come out from the disc into the nerve canal.
Another common cause of stenosis is from arthritic changes, like bone spurs and degeneration, that form over several years of wear and tear on your back.
If we trace the cause back even further, the main cause for stenosis really stems from having a weak abdominal core. When your core is weak, you are more prone to overarching your lower back while sitting or standing. This excessive force, over time, creates the perfect storm for developing disc bulges, herniations, and arthritic changes. It doesn't take much pressure at all for the nerve to get irritated which is why stenosis can be problematic.
What can you do?
One of the best things you can do if you suffer from stenosis is to see a physical therapist. After conducting a thorough examination, a physical therapist can develop a treatment plan to help you work on your posture, core strength, and relearn proper body mechanics. These conservative measures help you achieve relief and, if surgery is warranted, recover more successfully.
At Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center, located in downtown Eugene, we are deeply knowledgeable in working with people who suffer from lower back pain and stenosis. Give us a call today to schedule an assessment with one of our physical therapists at 541-505-8180.
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