Friday, September 28, 2007

"I Was Told I Having Stenosis. They Said Nothing Can be Done And I've Gotta Live With My Pain!"

What is STENOSIS first of all? Stenosis is a closure of the hole or holes in the back of the spine where nerve roots branch off of your spinal cord. More specifically this is called neural foraminal stenosis. Those exit holes are called your neural foramen. You can also have spinal stenosis which typically means you have closure or shrinking of the canal in the back of the spine that the spinal cord travels down. This canal is from the brain down to your lower body.

So what happens and what creates this "stenosis"? Arthritis (in other s degeneration) takes place usually in the discs and endplates of the vertebrae. When the disc flattens and bulges (aka degenerates) then #1 - that bulge can literally fill up those canals meaning your neaural canals and or your spinal canal.
#2 - the bones start to break down creating rigid/ jagged edges and spurring (bone spurs) that also put pressure on nerves and contributes to shrinking the neural foramen or spinal canal. Remember the disc acts as a spacer creating the gap or hole nerves travel out of. Once the disc flattens from a disc breakdown or herniation then you will lose the full opening in that foramen that should be there.

Facet degeneration and ligament hypertophy or inflammation also work to create pressure on the nerves or spinal cord.

So basically if the disc can be rehydrated and reheightened, and bulges and herniations can be pulled back into place, it can open these holes back up relieving nerve pressure and preventing more degeneration and arthritis to take place.

Great news, this is what Spinal Decompression does. Before Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression most patients were simply sent to physical therapy and given meds or pain shots. If this didn't work they were recommended surgery. Now we have an extra option for care of stenosis. No more just living with the pain!!!

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