Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis Come on Gradually. Here’s What to Watch For
Spinal stenosis is a progressive, age-related narrowing of the spine. The condition usually occurs in the lumbar spine (lower back) or the cervical spine (neck area).
When parts of the spinal column narrow, they put pressure on the spine itself, as well as the surrounding nerves and muscles. This causes everything from discomfort, to loss of motion, to referred pain and nerve-related conditions.
The key to managing stenosis is diagnosing it early and developing a robust plan for addressing its symptoms. Our Virginia Beach chiropractor strives to help patients understand about it, so they better understand treatment options and outlooks.
Early diagnosis is important
Having spinal stenosis diagnosed and treated helps stave off the condition’s worst symptoms – usually chronic pain and extreme stiffness. Neurological symptoms, like chronic tingling or numbness, are also commonly associated with stenosis. Patients suffering these symptoms on an ongoing basis should seek chiropractic assessment right away.
It’s important to realize, spinal stenosis doesn’t happen overnight. It actually sets in over a period of years. Because it’s associated with aging, many people may ignore the aches and pains caused by spinal stenosis, believing they’re a normal part of aging.
Pain is never normal. It’s a sign there’s a treatable, preventable issue with your body your nervous system is trying to tell you about. Identifying early symptoms can help you seek treatment before the condition becomes chronic and impairs your quality of life.
Recognize the signs of stenosis
The symptoms can be rather understated at first. They tend to manifest differently, depending on whether you’re experiencing lumbar spinal stenosis or cervical spinal stenosis.
Qualifying symptoms ensures you’re pursuing an adequate treatment regimen to avoid the disorder’s worst impacts. Here are some of the most common early symptoms of stenosis:
- Headaches: Headaches, particularly at the base of the skull, are often indicative of problems in the cervical spine. If you’re at an age when spinal stenosis is a real concern, the disorder may to be blame if you begin to experience a sudden barrage of headaches.
- Incontinence: Lumbar spinal stenosis may affect nerves and muscles in your lower back and pelvic region, which could lead to incontinence. If you find yourself struggling to control these functions, talk to a doctor about the possibility of spinal stenosis.
- Pain: There are several types of pain associated with spinal stenosis. If you experience sharp, shooting pains when you bend or lean over, this might be a symptom of lumbar stenosis. Similarly, pain radiating down from base of the neck or the shoulder may indicate cervical stenosis.
- Loss of fine motor skills: If you find yourself struggling to button your shirt or sign your name, spinal stenosis may be to blame. Any loss of fine motor skills is cause for concern, but when the symptoms appear gradually, they can be easy to dismiss. Talk to a healthcare provider if you’ve noticed a decline in fine motor skills.
Chiropractors may have answers
Spinal stenosis can be a confusing condition because of how it presents. If you have one or several of the symptoms listed above, or are at an age when spinal deterioration becomes apparent, it’s smart to schedule a chiropractic consultation in Virginia Beach, VA.
ChiroSolutions Center uses the Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) model to diagnose and address spinal stenosis in individual patients. Visit our Virginia Beach location to talk to a chiropractor about it and treatments today.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.