Stenosis is a condition in which the spaces between the vertebrae that allow for nerves to pass through degenerate and can cause compression of the affected nerve root.
Common causes of stenosis are typical age-related changes of the spine, degeneration of the spine due to mineral deficiency, and development of osteoarthritis.
Patients with stenosis usually present with pain in the low back leading into the lower extremities. Pain usually worsens with standing and walking for prolonged periods. Pain is typically relieved with the lumbar spine is flexed (i.e., bending over while sitting in a chair). When your physical therapist evaluates you, you may present with abnormal reflexes, weakness, sensory deficits, and abnormal posture. If your physical therapist begins to ask about bowel and bladder habits, it’s important to be descriptive and honest so that your physical therapist can keep you safe!
Individuals with a history of traumatic injury to the spine, mineral/vitamin deficiency, genetic predisposition may present more commonly with stenosis than others.
Stenosis is usually diagnosed by your primary care provider or neurologist. Conservative treatment is the first line of care for patient’s suffering from stenosis. Physical therapy intervention, oral anti-inflammatory medication, and anti-inflammatory injections are all considered conservative treatment for stenosis