What is Lumbar Stenosis?

Unfortunately in our society Low back pain, and its associated problems, are very common stated by the National Health Institute and several research articles published in the Physical Therapy Journal.
If you look on NIH’s site, you will notice there are a variety of reasons as to why Low back pain occurs. One common diagnosis is Spinal Stenosis of the low back.
Broken down, the word Stenosis means narrowing. When applied to the spine, Stenosis means a decrease of space in the spine.
lumbar spineThis narrowing of the spine typically occurs over time due to anything deceasing the space between the vertebrae and spinal canal. Some examples include: disc herniation, vertebrae stiffening, ligament thickening, bone spurs, arthritis, postural changes,  muscle strength and length imbalances.
Pain is caused by the stiffening into this position, and occasional pinching or irritation of the nerves and discs or vertebrae.
What can you do if you have Stenosis? See a Physical Therapist where you can learn exercises, to lengthen and strengthen muscles as well as assist you in getting your vertebrae moving more freely again.
To prevent it is best to start performing a daily stretching program, especially if you sit frequently, lengthening your hip flexors to avoid an anterior tug on the pelvis and spine.
For further details, and more pictures, visit NIH for their article on Spinal Stenosis.
Contributed by Dr. Alison Cupini


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