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Back Pain going into the buttocks Spinal Stenosis

Dr Linda Schiller, chiropractor

What is spinal stenosis?

The Spinal cord is a nerve structure that conducts signals from the brain to the rest of the body and it is located within your spine, protected by surrounding bones and tissues. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the space within the spine which then causes the compression of the spinal cord and may cause pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness. Spinal stenosis can occur anywhere along the spine, but it often occurs in your neck or lower back.

Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

Some people with spinal stenosis may not experience any symptoms at all but people with more severe narrowing might experience symptoms including: 

  • Leg or arm weakness 
  • Lower back pain while walking or standing 
  • Loss of balance
  • Numbness and tingling in legs or buttocks 
  • In severe cases of spinal stenosis in neck can cause bowel or bladder dysfunction 
  • Muscle spasm in arms or legs
  • Difficulty walking far distances 

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

There are numerous causes of spinal stenosis ranging from birth defects to tumours, however, the most common cause of spinal stenosis is aging related degeneration of the spine. Here is a list of some conditions that can cause spinal stenosis:

  • Congenital spine defects 
  • Scoliosis 
  • Paget’s disease – a condition that causes abnormal bone destruction and regrowth 
  • Bone tumours 
  • Achondroplasia – a type of dwarfism 
  • Disc herniation 
  • Thickened ligaments in the spine 
  • Spinal injuries due to trauma 

How to Diagnose Spinal Stenosis

back and buttocks painIn most cases, your doctor will first take a medical history and perform some physical examination to help making a diagnosis. After that, your doctor may order special imaging to confirm the diagnosis. The special imaging may include: 

  • MRI, CT scan or X-ray to look for any narrowing of the spine 
  • Electromyelogram to check the health status of the spinal nerves 
  • Bone scan to check for any damage or growth of the spine 

Treatment for Spinal Stenosis

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy such as chiropractic can help with spinal stenosis by providing individualised spinal stretches, mobilisation and strength training, which can help remove pressure, reduce muscle tightness, improve posture, increase range of motion and reduce pain. A recent study conducted showed that when comparing physical therapy to pharmaceutical treatment and group exercise, the group of patients who received physical therapy treatment reported the greatest improvement of symptoms and physical function compared to the other two treatment groups. However, some patient might not response well to physical therapy or they have more severe pain and greater neurological loss, in that case, surgery will be their next option.


Surgery is usually considered the last resort for the patient due to its invasive nature and high procedure price. However, surgery can help by relieving pressure permanently. There is a few types of surgery that can be used to treat spinal stenosis:

  • Laminectomy – Removal of part of vertebrae to provide more space for the spinal cord
  • Foraminotomy – Widen of the part of spine where the nerve exit
  • Spinal fusion – for more severe cases that involve multiple levels of the spine. This involve attaching bone grafts or metal implants to the affected bones and bind them together to prevent instability.

Back pain related to Spinal Stenosis may be relieved with Chiropractic care

At Lakeside Chiropractic we have had many patients come in with neck and back spinal stenosis which have been successfully treated. If you have any of the symptoms as mentioned above or have special imaging demonstrating that you have a spinal stenosis, Lakeside Chiropractic may be a great option for you. Lakeside Chiropractic is located in Joondalup, central to Perth’s Northern Suburbs. We have many visitors from various surrounding suburbs including Kingsley, Wanneroo, Burns Beach, Kallaroo, Beldon, Heathridge, Greenwood and North Beach. We also have on site HICAPS Facilities for all major health insurance providers in addition to being a Medibank Preferred Practitioner and BUPA first provider. We also accept Medicare referrals from General Practitioners. If you are in need of any further information or wish to book an appointment please give us a call on 9300 0095 or check out our website at

how chiro help, and vs surgery

October 29, 2020