> Spinal Physiotherapy > Spinal Stenosis Physiotherapy
Spinal Stenosis Physiotherapy
Up to 8 in 10 of us (that's 80%!) will experience some form of
back or neck pain at some point in our lifetimes. Spinal stenosis can be
one cause of back pain and neck pain.
It affects your vertebrae (the bones
of your back), narrowing the openings within those spinal vertebral bones where the
spinal cord and nerves pass through.
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing within the vertebrae of the spinal
column that results in too much pressure on the spinal cord (central
stenosis) or nerves (lateral stenosis). Spinal stenosis may occur in the
neck or in the lower back.
The most common causes of spinal stenosis are related to the aging process in the spine:
- Osteoarthritis is a deterioration of the cartilage between joints.
In response to this damage, the body often forms additional bone (called
"bone spurs") to try to support the area. These bone spurs might cause
pressure on the nerves at the point where the nerves exit the spinal
- Normal aging can result in a flattening of the disks that provide
space between each set of vertebrae. This narrowed space allows less
room for the nerve to exit from the spinal cord.
- Spinal injuries, diseases of the bone (such as Paget disease),
spinal tumors, and thickening of certain spinal ligaments also may lead
to spinal stenosis.
In most cases, symptoms of spinal stenosis can be effectively
managed with spinal physiotherapy and other conservative treatments. Only
the most severe cases of spinal stenosis need surgery or spinal
Signs and Symptoms
Spinal stenosis may cause symptoms such as:
- Pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms and shoulders, legs, or trunk
- Occasional problems with bowel or bladder function
If you have spinal stenosis in the neck (cervical spinal stenosis),
you may have weakness, numbness, and pain in one or both arms and often
in the legs, depending on which nerves are affected.
You may or may not
have neck pain.
If you have spinal stenosis in the low back (lumbar spinal stenosis),
you may have
in the low back and one or
both legs but not in the arms. Your symptoms may get worse with walking
and improve with sitting.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Because the symptoms of spinal stenosis are often similar to those of
other age-related conditions, a careful and in-depth diagnosis including differential diagnosis is important.
senior physiotherapists will conduct a thorough evaluation, including a
review of your medical history, and will use screening tools to
determine the likelihood of spinal stenosis.
- Ask you very specific questions about the location and nature of your pain, weakness, and other symptoms
- Ask you to fill out a body diagram to indicate specific areas of pain, numbness, and tingling
- Perform tests of muscle strength and sensation to determine the severity of the pressure on the nerve root
- Examine your posture and observe how you walk and perform other activities
- Measure the range of motion of your spine and your arms and legs
- Use manual therapy to evaluate the mobility of the joints and muscles in your spine
- Test the strength of important muscle groups
If you have muscle weakness, loss of sensation, or severe pain,
diagnostic tests such as an X-ray or MRI may be needed.
We work closely with physicians and other healthcare providers
to ensure that an accurate diagnosis is made and the appropriate
treatment is provided.
Research shows that in all but the most extreme cases of spinal
stenosis (usually involving muscle weakness or high levels of pain),
conservative care, such as spinal physiotherapy, achieves better results
how our senior physiotherapists can help
Our overall focus and purpose is to help you continue to
participate in your daily activities and life roles. We will
design a treatment program based on both the findings of the evaluation
and your personal goals.
We will design a specialized treatment program
to meet your unique needs and goals.
Your physiotherapy program may include:
We may teach
you specific movements to help take pressure off the nerve root, which
can help alleviate pain.
Stretching and Range-of-Motion Exercises
learn specific exercises to improve mobility in the joints and muscles
of your spine and your extremities. Improving motion in a joint is often
the key to pain relief.
Strong trunk (abdomen and
back) muscles provide support for your spinal joints, and strong arm and
leg muscles help take some of the workload off your spinal joints.
You may learn aerobic exercise
movements to increase your tolerance for activities that might have been
affected by the spinal stenosis, such as walking.
This might sound like a lot of exercise, but don't worry: research
shows that the more exercise you can handle, the quicker you'll get rid
of your pain and other symptoms!
We may decide to use a combination of other treatments as well, including:
We may conduct
manual (hands-on) therapy such as massage to improve the mobility of
stiff joints that may be contributing to your symptoms.
Use of Equipment
prescribe the use of rehabilitation equipment—such as a special harness
device that attaches to a treadmill to help reduce pressure on the
spinal nerves during walking.
You may learn to relieve pressure on the nerves by making simple changes in how you stand, walk, and sit.
We may employ the following to help alleviate pain or discomfort that you may experience:
Image credit to Blausen.com staff (2014). "Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014". WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436.
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Phoenix Rehab physio Services
Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist
physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly
trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of
expert care to our patients.
PHYSIOTHERAPY & PHYSICAL THERAPY
HAND THERAPY & SPLINTING
Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand
following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.
It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood
flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to
- accelerate recovery and
- shorten downtime / recovery period required
It also prevents
muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle
Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.
All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).
See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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We appreciate you as our valued clients and want you to know that the #1 way we grow as a clinic/brand is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.
We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.