can a chiropractor help spinal stenosis

A damaged spine can put pressure on nerves all over your body over time. As you get older, you may even develop spinal stenosis. This can jeopardize your overall health. Fortunately, surgery is not your only treatment option. Instead, you could see a spinal stenosis chiropractor. But how can a chiropractor help spinal stenosis?

Chiropractors align your spine, easing stenosis symptoms. They recommend exercises to improve posture. Non-invasive treatments like TENS might be offered alongside stretches for relief. Chiropractors can also offer spinal decompression to relieve pressure without requiring surgery. This promotes disc healing via increased nutrient flow.

In this article, we will broadly discuss the helping process of stenosis chiropractors. We will also enlighten you on the causes and symptoms of this condition. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

When the space in the spine gets too small, a condition called spinal stenosis can happen. The nerves and soft tissues that cover your bones and spine can hurt if you have spinal stenosis. This can make it hard to do everyday things like balance, feeling, and even moving.

Stenosis is more common in the neck and lower back, where the spaces are smaller. The spinal cord is made up of a column of smaller vertebrae in the neck and lower back. As this area shrinks, it can hurt nerves nearby by putting pressure on the nerve roots. This causes pain and other neurological symptoms, such as weakness or loss of sensation.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Degenerative diseases are the most common cause of spinal stenosis. Here are some examples:

  • Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects the spinal cartilage. The vertebrae can compress the spinal cord and nerve roots as they thin and wear down. When the cartilage becomes too thin, the bones may rub together. This results in the formation of osteophytes (bone spurs). These bone spurs also compress the nerve roots.

  • Degenerative Disc Disease

The spaces between bones narrow as the discs between vertebrae dehydrate or break down. This compresses nerves as they exit the spinal canal. Degenerative disc disease also causes bulging discs. It hurts the spinal cord when a disc bulges into the spinal canal.

  • Ligament Thickening or Buckling

There is a substantial layer of connective tissue surrounding the spinal canal. In certain circumstances, these tissues can thicken or harden into bone.

You can feel the spinal cord and nerve roots getting squished when these ligaments get stiff or thick. These connective tissues become loose and buckle due to genetic disease, making the spinal canal narrow in one place.

Spinal deformities like scoliosis, tumors, and cysts can all cause narrowing of the spinal canal. Injuries can also cause spinal stenosis. It is common in patients who have suffered spinal injuries from sports, car accidents, or when a vertebra is dislocated or fractured.

Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

The extent to which the space has shrunk determines where and how severe your symptoms are. The symptoms may appear gradually or suddenly. Running or lifting heavy objects can aggravate symptoms. The symptoms may include:

  • Pain

Spinal stenosis is most common in the cervical spine (neck and shoulders) and lumbar spine (lower back). The symptoms vary from mild to severe. It may begin as a dull, localized pain between the shoulders or in the lower back. Some people experience intense, sharp electrical pain that travels through the hips, legs, and arms. Pain may worsen with some activities and improve with others.

  • Loss of Sensation or Tingling

Patients with spinal stenosis rarely experience pain. Instead, they may feel numbness and tingling in the affected areas. Numbness and tingling can accompany pain and affect many parts of the body. This usually affects both the stenosis and the limbs.

  • Weakness

Your bones contribute to the body’s structure, but your muscles keep you standing and allow you to move. To maintain balance and coordination, your brain must be able to send and receive signals from those muscles.

When nerves are damaged or not working properly, the brain is unable to receive this information. This causes muscle weakness and difficulty moving or bearing weight.

There are also nerve roots in the spine that control bladder and bowel functions. Compression of these nerve roots can cause urinary or bowel incontinence.

can a chiropractor help with stenosis

How Can a Chiropractor Help Spinal Stenosis?

Chiropractors can use adjustments and manipulations to align your spine and neck. A misalignment could cause or worsen spinal stenosis. Getting an adjustment from a chiropractor can help relieve stress on the nerves in your spine.

  • Physical Exercises

Remember that poor posture can lead to stenosis. In fact, it can raise the pain. A chiropractor can recommend exercises (e.g., chin tucks, scapular retraction) to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture. Repeating these exercises daily can help with spinal stenosis pain relief.

Your doctor may also advise you to avoid activities that could worsen your pain. Walking uphill or cycling, for example, may exacerbate your spinal stenosis.

However, your chiropractor will probably advise you to stay physically active. Exercise can help prevent further deterioration of the muscles that support your spine.

  • Medication

Your chiropractor may also recommend anti-inflammatory drugs. Herbal anti-inflammatory agents include fish oil and curcumin. Most people who suffer from this condition believe that their only option is surgery. However, your chiropractor can create a treatment plan that is non-invasive, holistic, and natural.

Your chiropractor may also recommend TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), ice, or heat therapy. However, their suggestions may differ depending on your specific situation.

  • Stretches

During your adjustment, your chiropractor will stretch out certain parts of your body. Stretching creates a small amount of space along your spine. This can help relieve pressure.

Most patients experience an immediate reduction in pain after their first treatment. Each visit can help to alleviate your pain. However, pain relief can vary depending on several factors.

  • Spinal Decompression

If there is constant pressure on your spinal cord, you may need spinal decompression. Spinal decompression is a non-surgical procedure that can alleviate pressure on the spinal cord. If you gently stretch your spine, it will move. This will relieve pressure on your spinal nerves and discs.

Removing pressure from your spine’s structures allows water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids to flow into the discs. This allows the discs to heal.


Spinal stenosis can be an irritating situation. It can make your movements painful and cause numbness. Different degenerative conditions, like osteoarthritis and ligament thickening, are to blame for this condition.

The good thing is that chiropractic care can provide relief for this condition. With a focus on a non-invasive approach, a top-quality chiropractor can design a lifestyle beneficial for stenosis.

However, not all chiropractic care can meet the challenge of helping with spinal stenosis. The Brost Clinic definitely can. Contact us today for a safe alternative to back surgery or a natural and holistic way to treat spinal stenosis.

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