Spinal stenosis affects gait…and today they’re working with “smart shoes” to measure gait irregularities and associated distorted walking patterns! Our Easley chiropractic patients dealing with spinal stenosis often remark that they walk differently. That makes sense! Young Chiropractic can help alleviate Easley back pain and the related effects of spinal stenosis.
SPINAL STENOSIS AND ITS SIDE EFFECTS
Older folks are affected to a greater extent by frailty and locomotive syndrome, and those who also experience lumbar spinal stenosis find themselves even more affected. In a study of such patients who were heading for surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis, all but 1 of the 234 patients had locomotive syndrome while 24.8% had frailty. Post-surgically, those with frailty displayed improvement in locomotion. (1) Yet surgery doesn’t necessarily enhance gait for all spinal stenosis patients. Researchers measured the sagittal vertical axis using a gait motion analysis with lumbar spinal stenosis patients before and after they had decompression surgery to see if there was any improvement in spatiotemporal – how and how quickly a person walks in terms of stride, pace, width of step, etc. - gait parameters. There was not a variation in sagittal vertical axis, but there was significant difference in spatiotemporal parameters. (2) Cox® flexion distraction treatment produced significant improvement to lumbar spinal stenosis patients in terms of improved function, symptomatology, and performance-based mobility. Further all of their subjective improvement outcomes were statistically and clinically important. (3) This is beneficial!
SPINAL STENOSIS AND POSTURE
It’s also good to understand that lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) patient’s static spine and pelvic posture are associated with their symptoms. A new study delved into the subject of how dynamic alignment of the spine and pelvic might be linked to lumbar spinal function in the daily life of LSS sufferers and discovered that weak hip or trunk extensor muscles, a more pronounced pelvic tilt angle, or smaller spinal flexion during gait gave rise to reduced daily-life lumbar function. (4) Young Chiropractic seeks to enhance the quality of life for our Easley spinal stenosis patients and appreciates studies that disclose what works. An up-coming study’s goal is to form a set of data that can assist in defining and/or altering patient treatment plans, signs for surgery, and routines for post-surgery rehab for lumbar spinal stenosis patients who choose to have surgery. These patients come with a unique set of issues concerning posture, balance, ambulation biomechanics, paraspinal muscle quality and fatigue rates, as well as symptoms. (5) All of these play a role in a lumbar spinal stenosis patient’s care at Young Chiropractic and outcome.
SPINAL STENOSIS AND BACK PAIN AND SMART SHOES!
To ensure as good an outcome as possible, technology may come to the rescue. With lumbar spinal stenosis come gait abnormalities like decreased gait speed and unevenness due to muscle weakness and pain in the lower extremities. Don’t worry though. There are “smart shoes” to help. Smart shoes are wearable sensors that can detect gait changes quicker, easier, and cheaper. (6) In the meantime while their accuracy and cost-effectiveness are explored - since smart shoes might not be for everyone - the old fashioned in-clinic tests remain effective, and Young Chiropractic knows them well! Find out during your exam!
CONTACT Young Chiropractic
Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Nate McKee on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he illustrates how The Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management helps ease spinal stenosis and improve balance.
Schedule your Easley chiropractic appointment soon to visit us especially if you find your gait being “off” and/or have back pain. Spinal stenosis may be the offender, and Young Chiropractic knows how to rein it in!