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Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis (a narrowing of spaces in within the spine that can, in turn, put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine) is a condition that many of our more elderly patients visit us with. A common complaint with this ailment is that it can have a very detrimental effect on walking, which, for older people, can often be the only exercise they do, along with the fact that being able to get out and about – to go to the shops or meet friends etc. – is important for their mental wellbeing too. This means, that for us, getting our patients to a point where they can enjoy walking again is an essential part of our treatment plan.

We love it when our treatment plan kicks in and our patients are able to walk with ease as if they stop and start to lose fitness over a long period of time, it’s an uphill struggle to get it back. So it’s important that, if spinal stenosis is an issue for you, we get cracking with treatment as soon as the symptoms start!

But, why do people suffer from it in the first place? Spinal stenosis often happens due to part of the natural aging process of the spine, sometimes causing a narrowing of the canal that the spinal cord lives in. Due to simple physics, patients suffering from this condition find sitting and bending forwards more comfortable (because this opens up the spinal canal) but they find standing bolt upright and walking more painful (because this creates narrowing of the spinal canal). As therapists, we can use this simple physics to our advantage with lots of different techniques and exercises that can help to open up the spinal canal. Our ultimate aim is to keep our patients on their feet and enjoying walking for as long as possible as my being mobile, they’ll feel fitter and healthier for longer.



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