When Backs Go Bad: Part II

Back pain is very common, yet many people are unaware of actual causes, types and cures for back pain. We are here to help and educate you for those moments when your “back goes bad!”  Follow along and learn with us as we continue our “When Backs Go Bad” Blog Series featuring more information about Lumber Stenosis!

What Does It Look Like?

  • Pain with bending backwards
  • Pain in the middle of the low back
  • Pain can radiate into both legs at the same time
  • Pain increases with walking longer distances
  • Pain is better with sitting or leaning forward on a shopping cart

What Does it Sound Like?

  • “When I’m walking in the store, my back starts hurting. I have to lean on the cart to keep walking.”
  • “When my back really starts hurting, I have to sit down and my pain goes away, after a while.”
  • “My back hurts if I lay on my back for too long but if I bring my knees to my chest, it feels better.”
  • “Laying on my side feels much better.”
  • “I’ve had back pain for years but now I feel that both of my legs are weak”
  • “Ther other day, I was walking around in the yard, and for no reason, my legs gave out and I fell”

What Are Other Names for Stenosis

  • Advanced Arthritis
  • Central Canal Stenosis
  • Moderate to Severe Degenerative Disc Disease

5 Facts About Lumbar Stenosis

  1. Stenosis is a condition that affects the center of the spinal canal. The arthritis compresses on the spinal cord itself and can affect both legs at the same time.
  2. Stenosis is typically seen in an older population. (>65 years old)
  3. Patients with stenosis may have worsening weakness in both legs, which can cause falls.
  4. Weakness in legs can also cause issues with getting out of a low chair, getting out of the bathtub, or getting into a larger vehicle.
  5. When a person bends forward, this actually “opens up” the spinal canal by almost 20%. This gives the spinal cord more room to move and can help decrease pain.

How Can Physical Therapy Help with Stenosis

  • Through hands-on techniques, we can work to “open up” the spinal canal and allow for the spinal cord to have more room to move. This will decrease pain and give proper activation to the muscles in the legs.
  • On top of this, we will work on the muscles in the low back to help keep the spinal canal more open. We will also give exercises to help with any strength loss in the legs.
  • With decreased strength in the legs, you may also have a loss of balance. We have a series of techniques and exercises to help improve balance in the home, in the community, and even walking outside on uneven surfaces.

At Precision Rehabilitation, we can answer any questions that arise in order to help you understand your specific issue. Our team strives to instill confidence in your health and allow you to live a healthier lifestyle. We will teach you how to move properly and help you to take control of your own health.

Find your nearest location and schedule an appointment with us!

written by Beau Saunier PT, DPT, FAAOMPT

Posted in Everyday Health, Physical Therapy.