Many of our patients come into NNC diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis refers to the abnormal bony overgrowth of the spine, causing a funneling effect of the spinal canal. Unfortunately the nerves of the spinal cord travel through this channel. The narrowing of the canal can cause symptoms such as radiating pain to the extremities, weakness, and numbness due to nerve compression.
Types of Spinal Stenosis
There are three forms of stenosis:
- Central Canal
- Lateral recess
- Foraminal stenosis
Central canal stenosis narrows the canal where the spinal cord runs. The effects of this stenosis can arise from congenital, traumatic or due to excessive wear and tear. Typically this form of stenosis, which technically “chokes” the spinal nerves, is treated with rehab exercises, medication, and possibly injections to reduce symptoms. If symptoms of central canal stenosis continue to intensify over time, surgery may be required.
The second form, lateral recess stenosis, is a narrowing where the nerve exits out of the spinal canal.
In both central canal and lateral recess stenosis, it is implied that the narrowing is originating from bony overgrowth. In some instances, the stenosis is originating from soft tissue structure, such as a disc herniation. This can possibly be treated conservatively, and is worth a consultation prior to engaging in more invasive procedures.
The third form of stenosis is foraminal stenosis. This causes the narrowing from where two vertebrae articulate. The nerve root traveling through the foramen (opening) is impinged more laterally. Typically the symptoms of this form of stenosis will lead to one-sided symptoms based on the side where the lateral recess is narrowed. This type of stenosis has the highest success rate of treatment.
At Northern Nevada Chiropractic, non-surgical Spinal Decompression is used to treat the symptoms of foraminal stenosis. By mechanically tractioning the foramen where the nerve root exits, we are able to reduce nerve compression, thereby reducing symptoms.