Spinal Stenosis

Chiropractors and Massage Therapists alike come across back pain on a regular basis.  However, there’s a spinal condition that not many people know about and those who do seem to shrug it off: Spinal Stenosis


“What is Spinal Stenosis?”

Spine and skull.jpg

The spine and spinal cord act as a roadway from the brain to the nerves that control the body.  This roadway of nerves lets the brain tell the body to walk, grab, talk, and allow some control over a few internal organs (like the sphincters for the bladder). 

In between every vertebrae in the spine is a disc to cushion any force the body puts on the back.  A canal runs vertically through the spine from the brain.  Inside that canal is the spinal cord itself. 

Now this means that there’s space between the vertebrae and the spinal cord canal. Spinal Stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal starts to narrow in these spaces.  According to WebMD, this narrowing causes:

  • General Pain in the Spine- especially when standing or walking
  • Tingling or numbness in the limbs or torso
  • Muscle and Nerve Weakness

It can also cause syndromes that relate to nerve aggravation or muscle weakness: Sciatica, Headaches, Muscles Spasms in the torso.  

Back shot

What causes Spinal Stenosis?

Anything that causes a degrading compression on the discs in the spine or puts pressure on the spinal cord can cause Stenosis.  This includes:

  • Arthritis (especially Osteoarthritis)
  • Bone Spurs
  • Bone Cancer in the Spine
  • Herniated or Torn Discs
  • Injuries to the Spine
  • Genetics



Can Stenosis be cured?

Unfortunately, no. However, exercises, pain medications, and surgery are options to help treat the pain.  Usually the body becomes used to the pain, and people end up ignoring it to live their lives. 



Would Spinal Stenosis effect a massage session?

Not really.  There would be more focus on the muscles around the spine to try and calm any spasms.  If the nerves effect any specific muscles, a massage therapist can try to help those areas as well. 

Personal Note: The one thing we have to watch is pressure when it comes to old injuries and osteoarthritis.  Too much pressure can cause more pain during and after the session.

Personal Note: ALWAYS tell your therapist if they’re going too deep or they’re causing pain.  We can’t always tell, so please help us help you by speaking up. 


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