Spinal stenosis is a term that describes narrowing in the spinal column. Due to age-related changes or injury, the already tight spaces in the spine can become constricted and put pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots that travel out of the spine. Since these nerves are responsible for transmitting sensory and motor information to the rest of the body, if they become disrupted, it can result in pain and mobility issues, including balance problems.
This is especially true if spinal stenosis develops in the lower spine, since the nerves here travel into the lower body. If symptoms such as muscle weakness, shooting pains and spasms develop in the legs, it can have a severe effect on both range of motion and balance.
One of the best ways to understand the connection between spinal stenosis and balance problems is to work with a physical therapist. As you look over the following quick and informative guide, don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to learn more about our treatment options.
How can physical therapy help spinal stenosis and balance problems?
If you’ve been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and are experiencing balance problems, a physical therapist can start with an evaluation that includes testing for your posture, balance and gait. You can also expect a discussion of your current activity level and how your condition is affecting it.
The goal of physical therapy for spinal stenosis is to increase functioning and relieve symptoms with a combination of methods designed to accomplish the following:
Strengthen supporting muscles to better support the spine
Lengthen the spine through stretches and other techniques designed to help relieve pressure on nerves
Improve range of motion in both the back and legs
Increase balance through targeted postural and mechanical training
Specific physical therapy techniques include therapeutic exercise and manual therapies. Another huge component of physical therapy is patient education. Your therapist can help you understand the connection between spinal stenosis and balance problems while recommending lifestyle choices that promote long-term spine health and improved quality of life.
Spinal stenosis relief at Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
Spinal stenosis and related symptoms don’t have to run your life. We’ll work with you one-on-one to create a highly personalized treatment plan to help you get back to the people and activities you’ve been missing out on. Contact us today to schedule your initial appointment.