The condition of spinal stenosis is experienced in the back, and refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal is the home for your spinal cord and a host of nerves, nerve roots, and more. It comes as no surprise that compression of this canal causes serious pain and disability.
There are two forms of spinal stenosis: primary stenosis or acquired stenosis. While someone who has primary stenosis was born with the condition, a person who suffers from acquired stenosis experienced its development over time or due to trauma such as a car accident. Here, we take a closer look at acquired stenosis, specifically resulting from a car accident.
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
Car accident trauma can cause a narrowing of your spinal canal. This process can, of course, occur in different locations along the spinal canal. When this narrowing interferes with and causes problems in the spinal nerve roots, the condition becomes known as lumbar stenosis. Lumbar stenosis most often occurs near the L3-L4 and L4-L5 levels of your spine, but it can develop at other vertebral segments.
When trauma from a car accident causes a narrowing of the spinal canal closer to your neck, this becomes categorized as cervical spine stenosis. When it occurs in this location, you can experience extreme muscle weakness and partial disability. This form of trauma must be treated swiftly.
If you believe you are experiencing spinal stenosis after a car accident, some symptoms can include:
- Neck, shoulder, arm, or hand pain.
- Weakness in the arms or legs.
- A sensation of numbness or tingling in your arms or legs.
- Issues with balance.
- Incontinence of the bladder or bowel.
Spinal Stenosis Treatment
As far as any injury goes, treatment options depend on a variety of factors such as the location of the injury, its severity, and the potential for success of all options available. It is likely that your doctor will check to see if symptoms resolve with conservative treatments, before considering more serious treatments such as surgery. Some of these conservative treatments can include:
- Physical Therapy
- Injections of cortisone
- Massage therapy
- Light exercise
- Swimming and water aerobics
- Practicing proper body posture
- OTC pain relievers
- Chiropractic care
When these conservative treatments do not resolve the issue, your doctor could deem surgery necessary. This procedure is known as a lumbar laminectomy, and has a high success rate of over 80%.
If you need rehabilitation after an injury, visit our clinic for recommendations from a certified physician or physical therapist. We will be sure to get you on the road to recovery after an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an accident, please feel free to contact us using our contact form to get a custom-tailored recovery regimen that is right for you. Please contact us using the form on our website!