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Spinal Stenosis in New Jersey

Pain and other symptoms may be caused by spinal stenosis, a narrowing that occurs in the spinal canal. With offices in Totowa and Lafayette Township, Performance Rehabilitation offers the residents of New Jersey physical therapy and other treatments for spinal stenosis.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of spaces in the spine that causes pressure on the spinal nerves and cord. Three-fourths of spinal stenosis cases happen in the lumbar spine, which is the lower back. The narrowing in the spine that is linked to stenosis puts pressure on the roots of the nerves, which can cause pain down the back of the leg.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Several factors can contribute to or cause spinal stenosis, and a few instances in which it may occur are:

  • Trauma resulting from injuries or accidents that cause bone fragments from burst fractures to puncture the spinal canal
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Vertebrae that slip onto another, allowing the spinal canal to narrow and make it unstable. This is known as spondylolisthesis.
  • Hereditary traits such as deformities in the structure of the spine, which can cause the canal to narrow.
  • Abnormal growths of soft tissue that cause inflammation or penetrate the spinal canal. This growth might lead to bone loss from overactivity of certain cells, or cause bone displacement and the eventual collapse of the framework that supports the spinal column.
  • Postural changes related to the aging process.
  • The ligaments in the body are strong tissues that connect the bones of the spine. As you age, these ligaments begin to thicken. Small growths could develop on the bones and protrude into the spinal canal with age. The spinal discs that cushion the vertebrae might start deteriorating as well. Aging can also cause the facet joints, which are flat surfaces on every vertebra, to break down. Each of these factors can cause a narrowing of the spaces in the spine.

What are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis and how is it diagnosed?

Many spinal stenosis patients do not experience pain in the lower back and will only have leg pain with walking. Stenosis pain is often eliminated with flexed posture as this allows for the spinal nerve roots to have more space as the foramen are more open. A typical test used by our physical therapist is with a recumbent bicycle test. Leg pain that eliminates with cycling in this position is highly suggestive of spinal stenosis and can prevent the expense and burden of costlier test (e.g MRI). But it may be necessary to have an x-ray or MRI or CT scan ordered by your physician to rule out other causes of pain in the lB and/or legs.

Who is Affected by Spinal Stenosis?

Both women and men can develop spinal stenosis, and it most commonly occurs in people who are 50 to 70 years old. Young people who have narrow spinal canals or who suffer spinal injuries may also be affected by spinal stenosis.

The physical therapists at Performance Rehabilitation, located in Totowa and Lafayette Township in New Jersey, have the expertise you need for proper diagnosis and treatment of spinal stenosis. Contact us today to schedule a personal consultation.