A lot of people ask us, "What is Stenosis?" There's a lot of misinformation that nothing can be done, short of surgery, to relieve stenosis, which is also called arthritis or degenerative disc disease. In reality, that is just not true. So many people are suffering with pain or numbness from stenosis, that it is an important topic to have clarity on.
Research shows that if you're over the age of 50 and you have pain with standing or walking and the pain goes away with sitting down, there's a 97 chance you have stenosis.
In the lumbar spine (lower back), one vertebrae sits on top of another vertebrae and in between there is a disc. A hole behind the disc allows a large nerve from the spinal cord to exit. Stenosis is the Latin word for narrowing. As we age the disc shrinks a bit and the hole closes a little. That is actually how many of us have lost height. We get slightly shorter as we age because our disc spaces narrow.
Because the hole gets smaller, the exiting nerve can get pressed upon or pinched, which causes pain and/or numbness, usually down one or both legs. If the person suffering from stenosis bends forward the vertebrae move apart, and the hole opens up so that the nerve is released, and the pain goes away. Conversely, if a person with stenosis bends backward, the hole closes down even more, and the pain can be excruciating.
With proper movements (exercises and stretches) we can increase the size of the hole and train the body to keep the hole open, so the nerve does not get squeezed. This approach is much more successful than surgery, because the body is healing itself through movement. Whereas surgery, like spinal fusion is fixing the spine in one place. It can no longer move properly and causes more problems up or down the spine.
I would encourage you to find a natural solution, like physical therapy if you are suffering from low back pain. You will be much more successful in healing your back and keeping back pain away.
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