There are many options to treat stenosis. Most treatment is symptom-based and addresses inflammation and pain, and in some cases, surgery is performed to treat a disc bulge causing stenosis. This article provides information that explains what can lead to stenosis and what you can do naturally to help your body heal and reverse this degenerative process.There are two types of stenosis, central canal stenosis and intervertebral foraminal stenosis. We will explain how each of these develops and what the mechanisms are that are involved in their development.
Central Canal Stenosis
Central canal stenosis is the closure or narrowing of the canal that houses the spinal cord. This can result from a variety of reasons however the most common being a disc bulge of 4 or more millimeters that encroaches the spinal canal. Some individuals have a genetic narrowing of the central canal which can be a precipitating cause of some people’s central canal stenosis.
Intervertebral Foraminal (IVF) Stenosis
Each vertebra has a spinal nerve that exits the sides called an intervertebral foramen. The intervertebral foramen is a hole where a nerve exits off the spinal cord on the left and right sides. Narrowing of this foramen can cause IVF stenosis. This can occur due to structural adaptations of the spine due to spinal misalignment. Injury to the upper cervical spine can cause postural changes throughout the spine and cause the IVF to narrow due to abnormal spinal curves. If these postural abnormalities remain for a long period of time the body will lay bone down in areas that would not normally occur if the spine was healthy. As a result, the extra bone can encroach on the intervertebral foramen. Had these postural imbalances been addressed prior to the bone overgrowth they would never have occurred in the first place.
A spinal disc bulge can also cause IVF stenosis. Oftentimes a disc bulge can protrude laterally influencing the nerve that exits the IVF causing pressure and interference to its function. Traditional approaches to disc bulge are physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and surgical intervention. Below we will discuss a little-known technique that can address all of these mechanisms that influence spinal stenosis.
Your Neck and Spinal Stenosis
The upper cervical spine (upper neck) houses the brainstem. This area of the nervous system is paramount to almost all body functions including postural muscle tone. When neck injury occurs, structural misalignment can happen between the head and neck causing irritation to the postural centers in the brain stem. As a result, one shoulder becomes higher than the other, one pelvis higher than the other, and most commonly the head projects forward off of its normal axis resting over the shoulders. As a result, the normal spinal curves become altered and the intervertebral foramen can become compromised. If this postural imbalance stays uncorrected the body will attempt to stabilize the imbalances by laying down more bone where the spine is being stressed due to the postural fault. Also, discs throughout the spine can become bulged due to increased loads on them due to the loss of postural balance.
As you see when the neck is injured there is a chain reaction throughout the entire spine that can result in stenosis in all of the areas we have discussed in the first section of this article. There are times when the degenerative process has proceeded to the point where surgery is necessary however in our Georgia Upper Cervical Chiropractic offices we have found if caught in time most stenosis problems can be corrected by correcting the underlying cause – brain-stem interference due to a prior neck injury.
What Do Georgia Upper Cervical Chiropractors Do?
Upper Cervical Health Care of Georgia specializes in the correction of spinal misalignment at the skull-neck junction. The head weighs 10-12 pounds and sits on the top bone in the neck called the atlas weighing 2 ounces. The head-neck junction is the weakest area of the spine and as a consequence is most susceptible to injury. Prior whiplash trauma, sports injuries, slip and falls and other trauma can predispose the spine to imbalance and make your body susceptible to not only stenosis but other chronic health problems.
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Dr. Nick Tedder is ocated in Dacula GA and services the communities of Atlanta, Auburn, Austell, Braselton, Buford, Cumming, Dacula, Duluth, Dunwoody, East Point, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Grayson, Hoschton, Hamilton Mill, Johns Creek, Lanier Islands, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Norcross, Suwanee, and Winder.
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