Spinal Health 101: What Is Thoracic Spinal Stenosis? - An online health& Fitness Blog to know more about health, fitness & food.

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Spinal Health 101: What Is Thoracic Spinal Stenosis?

Do you experience back pain?

So many of us complain about our backs that it's hard to know whether what you're experiencing is normal or if it is becoming a problem.

To compound this uncertainty, there are many potential causes of back pain. How do you know which one might be affecting you?

One common cause of back issues is thoracic spinal stenosis. It can cause anything from a dull ache to sharp, radiating pain, and it can be associated with numbness or weakness in parts of the body.

If any of this sounds familiar, read on for more information.

What Is Thoracic Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. This is the canal where the spinal cord sits. It can occur for various reasons but is usually related to aging.

This narrowing can put pressure on the spinal cord or a spinal nerve. Depending on where this occurs, it can lead to spinal pain or neck pain.

There are three types of spinal stenosis: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. These names refer to the part of the spine where the stenosis occurs.

Thoracic spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing occurring in the thoracic spine, the middle of the back. This is less common than cervical or lumbar stenosis because the thoracic spine tends to move less than the other sections.

Symptoms

The general symptoms of spinal stenosis are:

  • Pain in the neck or back
  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling in the limbs or extremities
  • Difficulty walking or balancing
  • Urinary urgency and incontinence

When the stenosis occurs in the thoracic spine, in particular, the most common symptoms are:

  • Pain in the ribs
  • Pain that radiates down the back or legs
  • Aching in the legs
  • Difficulty walking
  • Internal pain

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing and locating spinal stenosis requires an X-ray or MRI. Once a doctor has located and assessed the stenosis, you can start to discuss treatment options.

Various surgical interventions are available for severe stenosis. In many cases, however, chiropractic spinal stenosis treatment is appropriate. A chiropractor will be able to tell you what sort of treatment is recommended.

Chiropractic treatments for spinal stenosis aim to relieve the nerve compression by widening the spinal canal where it has begun to narrow. This is achieved through techniques such as spinal adjustments, electric stimulation, massage, and stretching.

Other holistic approaches like exercises and lifestyle recommendations may also be used.

These measures are completely noninvasive and have good outcomes for patients. They also require no medications.

Next Steps

If your symptoms match any of those above and you suspect that you might have thoracic spinal stenosis, don't wait any longer to get in touch with a chiropractor. Spinal stenosis is progressive; the sooner you start treating it, the better.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out the rest of our Health Care section.

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