Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I consult to rule out spinal nerve compression?

You should consult an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon. Both specialists can treat this condition and perform surgery.

2. Can a person be paralyzed by spinal stenosis?

Untreated and progressive severe spinal stenosis can result in paralysis and demands urgent medical attention. However, this happens rarely.

3. What is cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a condition that results from asymmetric involvement of the bundle of nerve roots (cauda equina or horse tail) at the lower end of the spinal cord. The patient may complain of low back pain, radiating pain down the legs, numbness around the anus plus/minus loss of bladder and bowel control. Causes include herniated lumbar intervertebral discs, and abnormal growths (tumor or cancer) adjacent to the lower spinal cord.

4. Can I walk if I have spinal stenosis?

Walkingis a suitable exercise in patients with spinal stenosis. It is low-impact, and the pace can be varied as needed. Also, a daily walk is an excellent time to enjoy fresh air outdoors and a tremendous way to destress.

5. What are the forms of physiotherapy available for spinal stenosis?

Physical therapy or spinal rehabilitation therapy can be active or passive. Passive therapy is administered by the therapist. Passive therapy includes deep tissue massages, hot and cold treatments, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and ultrasonic therapy to reduce pain and stiffness. Active therapy involves stretches and exercises.

6. What exercises are not recommended in spinal stenosis?

Activities and exercises that put too much pressure on the spine are best avoided e.g. contact sports.

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