Spinal Arthritis and Spinal Stenosis

February 11th, 2016

What is Spinal Arthritis?
Spinal Arthritis is a very common area for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The low back takes a tremendous strain throughout our lifetime, supporting the body, moving, sitting and repetitively bending. In addition to these contributing factors, arthritis can also be affected by genetics, age, previous injuries, diet and exercise.

With abnormal forces on the back, the cartilage on the joints at each level of the spine can rub down causing even wear, build up of bone and eventually bone on bone rubbing. This can result in painful movement of the spinal joints and chronic, achy pain in the low back. Much like an arthritic knee, the spinal joints are helped through restoring natural movement, improving support from the spinal muscles and proper posture.

What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal Stenosis is a condition that typically goes hand in hand with spinal arthritis. Spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the central spinal canal or the canals where the nerves exit the spine to the lower legs (called foramen). These canals are made up of overlapping spinal bones (vertebrae) over another. With degeneration of the spinal joints, collapsing of the disc height or abnormal bone growth, the canals can narrow. This leads to rubbing and even pressure on the nerves, which can cause a multitude of symptoms.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy can have a very positive effect on patients with spinal arthritis and spinal stenosis. While our therapists cannot revert your arthritis degeneration, we can restore more natural movement to the spinal joints, improve flexibility to increase joint fluid circulation, improve spinal muscle strength and educate you on correct posture and prevention techniques.

The result is that you can do more, with less pain. Often, patients report significant reduction in pain and improvement in daily activities from just a few short weeks of physical therapy. Call us today to find out more how we can help you have pain relief from spinal stenosis!

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