Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Resolving Spinal Stenosis Pain with Cox Spinal Decompression

Spinal Stenosis is a common, potentially debilitating source of back pain and/or leg pain caused by an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal.  This abnormal narrowing is usually associated with degenerative conditions of the spine such as osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease.  While the degeneration of the spine can be a source of localized back pain, the bigger concern is the narrowing of the spinal canal as it will compress the spinal cord and/or nerve roots, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness in the leg.

Currently, there is no Spinal Stenosis cure and treatment of Spinal Stenosis can be difficult  to treat both conservatively, as well as surgically.  Fortunately, Cox Flexion-Distraction Technique has emerged as a highly effective, safe, non surgical and well researched treatment for Spinal Stenosis. In fact, Cox Technique can often provide dramatic relief when there are few other effective treatment options available. But before we talk about how Cox Technique works so effectively, it is helpful to first discuss what Spinal Stenosis is and how it develops in the first place.

Cox Technique can often provide dramatic relief when there are few
other effective treatment options available

Basic Anatomy of the Spine – Bones, Discs, and the Spinal Canal

The spine consists of a series of spinal bones – anatomically referred to as vertebrae – stacked together to form a moveable column. Between each vertebrae is a soft, circular pad known as an intervertebral disc.  These discs act as spacers between each vertebra and make the spine more flexible.  As the vertebrae join together one atop the other they do so in such a way that the openings at the centre of each vertebrae line up to form the spinal canal, a long channel that runs down the centre of the spine and houses the spinal cord.  As the spinal cord descends within the spinal canal it gives off nerve branches at each vertebral level.   These nerve branches then exit the spine though the intervertebral foramen, which are small holes on the side of the spine formed between each adjacent vertebrae.  In the case of the lumbar spine, each of these exiting nerves will travel down the leg to supply the skin, muscles, and ligaments.

How Does Spinal Stenosis Develop?

Under normal circumstances, there is ample space within the spinal canal and intervertebral foramen for the spinal cord and exiting nerve branches.  However, as we age there are several events that can occur with can cause these spaces to become narrowed.

1. Spinal Degeneration
One the most significant conditions leading to spinal stenosis is joint degeneration (this can include degenerative disc disease, or degeneration/osteoarthritis of the spinal joints).  Spinal degeneration is associated with extra bone grow around areas of stress or overload.  This extra bone leads to narrowing of the spinal canal and intervertebral foramen.

2. Disc Bulge/Disc Degeneration
Between each vertebrae is an intervertebral disc.  As we age these discs can become thinner, which will reduce the space between each verterbrae and lead to narrowing of the intervertebral foramen.  In addition, as the disc thins it will start to bulge outwards, further compromising space within the spinal canal.

As the spinal canal and intervertebral foramen become narrowed it will begin to compress the neural structures within these spaces, eventually leading to low back pain and sciatica symptoms, including pain, numbness, and possibly weakness into the leg.  These symptoms are usually most prominent with standing and walking as these postures are naturally associated with narrowing of the spine compared to sitting.

Spinal Stenosis Treatment With Cox Spinal Decompression

When providing spinal canal stenosis treatment, the goal is to increase space as much as possible within the spinal canal and affected intervertebral foramen, which will reduce pressure on the spinal cord and pinched nerve branches.  While treatment of Spinal Stenosis can be a difficult to manage both conservatively, as well as surgically, Cox Flexion-Distraction Technique has emerged as one of the most effective, safest, and well researched therapies for low back pain, including Spinal Stenosis treatment.

Here’s How Cox Technique  Works…

Cox Flexion-Distraction therapy is performed using a specially engineered treatment table that gently pulls and stretches the spine. With the patient lying face down on the table, the lower section of the table (the part of the table supporting the patients’ legs) can be slowly pulled down and away.  This motion lengthens the spine, pulling the vertebrae away from each other.  This motion acts to open space in the spinal canal and intervertebral formen and “decompress” the spinal cord and nerve roots.  As the spine stretches the doctor is able to focus the decompression at the most affected level(s) by using a specific hand contact on the spine while the table is pulled away. This focal pressure applied by the doctor makes Cox Technique more effective than traditional and automated traction therapies or inversion devices which apply only a general traction, and do not provide feedback to doctor with respect to the health of the spinal joints.  Each decompression stretch is applied in a rhythmical push-pull action five or six times for a total of about 20 seconds.  This process is usually repeated three times.  These procedures are generally supplemented with modalities to help reduce pain and healing such as Laser Therapy.  Home stretches and exercises are also an important part of the treatment process, initially focusing on pain management, with stretching and strengthening exercises being added as pain and tolerance improve.  The goal of the exercise plan is to increase the flexibility of the hips to spare the back, and to strengthen the spine in a position that creates more space within the spinal canal and intervertebral foramen.

Get Relief with Cox Technique

To book an appointment to see if Cox Flexion-Distraction will be able to help with your problem simply call our office at (902) 407-7207 or book online by clicking below. For more information on Cox Technique, please contact us via phone or email.