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What is spinal stenosis: The narrowing of the gaps in the spine or the backbone is called as spinal stenosis. This leads to pressure on the nerves and the spinal cord. 5% of cases of spinal stenosis are seen in the low back of the lumbar spine. In some cases the narrowing of the spine leads to the compressing of the nerve root, which leads to pain in the leg.
Causes of spinal stenosis: It can be caused by aging, arthritis, trauma to the spine, spondylolisthesis and tumor of the spine
Symptoms of spinal stenosis: There is constant pain in the back and legs as stenosis pinches the nerve responsible for sensation and muscle power. Other symptoms are numbness and tingling in the legs, frequent falling and pain while walking.
Treatment of spinal stenosis:
- A routine program with exercises and physical therapy are the best treatment for spinal stenosis. The exercises are not a complete cure but they are beneficial in keeping the patient active. A physical therapy can be supervised and once the period of the same is over people easily transition to the exercise program. The key for exercise is starting slowly in order to build strength.
- Generally, the patients are counseled not to perform strenuous activities as that might worsen the symptoms of spinal stenosis. In case of lumbar stenosis, patients find it comfortable when they are flexed forward. The doctor might recommend walking while being bent over and leaning when using a walker if not walking upright; sitting in recliners is also recommended instead of straight back chairs.
- Injections of cortisone are usually given in the epidural space. This is believed to relieve the symptoms of spinal stenosis temporarily. Though there have been studies which question the use of these injections as they lead to the risk of osteoporosis related fractures. This is still being pondered over by the doctors as a suitable treatment option as it has its own benefits and risks.
- Medications such as the anti inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin are helpful in controlling the symptoms of spinal stenosis. Narcotic drugs might also prove to be helpful if used with care and for a short while. This is helpful for severe pain related to the nerves. Muscle relaxants like gabapentins might also be recommended. In some case antidepressants might also be given to provide relief from pain.
Though side effects are a concern when using these medications and the patient should let the doctor knows about their allergies.
She had an accident 2 months back. She got ankle sprain & her nerves got stretched too, it became well after 21 days without any medications or consultation. Its been 15 days she is experiencing the same problem again. Need advice. Thank you.
I am 55 years of age and having overweight (82 kg )my bmi is 29 how to get rid of excessive weight? I am already walking for around 3.5 km daily. My work involves prolong sitting and intensive mental activity, to the extent it makes me stressful. Please suggest some practicable solution. I will be highly obliged.
Stretching is very important for your well-being. Not only does it help you become more agile and flexible, it helps you become better at sports and also makes sure that you have fewer injuries when you are playing sports. Here are some exercises, which are guaranteed to make sure that your flexibility will improve:
1. The runner's stretch
In this stretch, put your right foot forward and then try to touch the floor with your fingertips. If your fingers do not reach the floor, place them as far down as possible. You have to then inhale, and go back to your starting position.
2. The standing side stretch
This stretch starts when you are standing straight upwards with your arms raised above your head and your fingers interlocked. When you breathe out you have to slowly bend your upper body to the right then return to the starting position. After you have reached the starting position, you inhale again and after you have inhaled, you have to stretch your upper body to the left.
3. The forward hang
In this stretch, your starting position is when you stand with your legs apart and then you lock your fingers together and place them behind your back. Once this is done, you breathe in. After breathing in, you have to exhale by bending forward and keeping your hands interlocked above your head. You have to hold this position for 5 seconds.
4. The low lunge arch
This stretch involves bringing your right leg as forward as possible and then lowering your left knee onto the floor. You then have to lock your hands together with your palms facing the floor and your hands in front of your body. You then have to inhale for the stretch. The stretch involves lifting your arms as far up as possible and then stretching as far back as possible keeping your legs in the position they were already in. Once you have finished this exercise, you have to do the exact same thing with the left leg in front
Young 21 year old came today with complains of pain and watering after something fell in his eye during a joy ride on his friends new bike . Resulting in a Corneal Ulcer .