The term stenosis means abnormal narrowing of a lumen (a space).
So Spinal Stenosis is a condition which is characterised by abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal (the lumen or cavity through which the spinal cord passes) in the vertebral column.
Spinal Stenosis may present either as CERVICAL STENOSIS or LUMBAR STENOSIS the latter being more common.
- Cervical stenosis: This is a condition where there is narrowing of the spinal canal at the level of the cervical vertebrae.
- Lumbar stenosis: This is a condition where the narrowing is at the level of the lumbar vertebrae.
Causes of spinal Stenosis
- Aging: Spinal Stenosis Back Pain occurs as a result of the degenerative changes that set in, due to the normal aging of an individual. It may be due to thickening of the spinal ligaments or due to growth of bony spurs which eventually reduces the space of the spinal canal.
- Arthritis: Both Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid-arthritis affecting the joints of the spine can cause the narrowing of the spinal canal which can lead to Spinal Stenosis.
- Hereditary & Congenital: This is where there is narrowing of the spinal canal by birth itself.
- Spondylolisthesis: This is a condition where a vertebra slides over the lower one. This leads to narrowing of the spinal canal and is called spinal stenosis.
- Abnormal Growths or Tumours: Abnormal growths or tumours of the vertebrae or surrounding structures can lead to the narrowing of the spinal canal eventually leading to spinal stenosis.
- Trauma: Trauma to the vertebral column can lead to fractures which can protrude into the spinal canal leading to spinal stenosis.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis
Symptoms of cervical stenosis:
- Cervical stenosis leads to pain in the neck which radiates to the upper limbs
- It can also be associated with weakness, numbness and altered sensation in the upper and lower limbs
- It may also manifest in the form of paralysis of the upper and lower limbs, if the narrowing is significant
- Cervical stenosis has symptoms similar to Cervical Radiculopathy & Cervical Myelopathy
Symptoms of lumbar stenosis:
- Lumbar Stenosis leads to pain, weakness, tingling sensation and or numbness in the low back region which radiates to one or both the legs
- If significant narrowing is present it can also present as paralysis of the legs.
Allopathy & Ayurvedic Treatment for Spinal Stenosis
Treatment for Spinal stenosis varies depending upon the location of the stenosis and severity of the signs and symptoms. Treatment is basically aimed at pain relief through non-surgical techniques and Surgery to relieve the compression.
- Treatment For Spinal Stenosis In Contemporary Medicine (Allopathy)
If the symptoms of the disease are mild, Non-Surgical techniques are employed.
The commonly employed Non-Surgical techniques are exercises and physical therapy. They are an integral part of the treatment of Spinal Stenosis. They aid in providing pain relief and restoration of functional capacity. However, they are not considered to be a cure for the disease. Epidural injections are administered to provide symptomatic relief in patients not responding to exercise and physical therapy. In this procedure, cortico-steroids are injected into the extradural space of the spinal cord but this technique comes with its own disadvantage as it increases the risk of developing osteoporotic fractures. Medications like NSAIDs, muscle relaxants and anti-depressants are also used for symptomatic relief. If these fail to provide significant relief, surgery to the spine is the only option.
- Ayurvedic Treatment For Spinal Stenosis
Ayurvedic treatment of spinal stenosis depends on the site of stenosis.
- Ayurvedic Treatment Of Cervical Stenosis
Ayurvedic treatment of Cervical Stenosis, leading to Cervical radiculopathy comprises of Ayurvedic medicines and external application of medicated oils that help to heal the nerves affected by the compression. If the symptoms are persistant, therapies like Podikkizhi (Herbal Powder Poultice massage), Ilakkizhi (Fresh herbal poultice massage) are used for relaxing the muscles; Greevavasthi (Pooling of medicated oil on the neck), Tailadhara (Pouring of medicated oils over the body) and Nhavarakkizhi (for healing the nerves and strengthening the muscles and nerves) are used. Nasyam (nasal medication) forms another important part of the treatment.
In cases of Cervical myelopathy, the relief is seen in mild to moderate cases but in severe cases with significant weakness in the legs and those with bladder and bowel symptoms not responding to these therapies, surgery may be required.
- Ayurvedic Treatment For Lumbar Canal Stenosis
Ayurvedic treatment of Lumbar Canal Stenosis comprises of herbal medicines and therapies that help to relax the muscles, relieve inflammation to the nerves and surrounding tissues, heal the damage to the nerves and in strengthen the nerves and muscles.
The most commonly used therapies are Podikkizhi (Herbal Powder Poultice massage), Ilakkizhi (Fresh herbal poultice massage) for relieving inflammation and relaxing the muscles, Kativasthi (Pooling of medicated oil on the back), Tailadhara (Pouring of medicated oils over the body) and Nhavarakkizhi (for healing the nerves and strengthening the muscles and nerves). Vasthi (Medicated Enemas) forms another important part of the treatment. This is the most important component of the treatment to strengthen the tissues and to prevent recurrence.
- Treatment Of Spinal Stenosis At AVN AROGYA
At AVN AROGYA we offer effective ayurveda treatment for a wide range of conditions caused by spinal canal stenosis comprising of Ayurvedic medicines, therapies and physiotherapy where required. We are able to prevent the need for surgery, improve the ability to carry out activities of daily living independently and improve the quality of life, in a vast majority of cases. However, in congenital Cervical Canal Stenosis, accompanied by severe Myelopathy with bowel and bladder complications, patients may require surgery.
Why AVN AROGYA for Spinal Stenosis Ayurvedic Treatment
- Treatment at AVN Arogya alleviates the need for surgery and improves the quality of life in most cases
- Our experience of over 85 years makes us the best at offering the services required to effectively heal the condition and helps patients, lead independent lives
- The treatment offered is time-tested, safe and effective
- The treatment is Natural and Holistic
- Patients walk out with renewed confidence in life