Is it possible to prevent spinal stenosis? If so, how? Recently, we saw some products advertised online that claimed to prevent back pain by reducing the chances of developing a long list of diagnoses, including spinal stenosis. The advertisement made us literally laugh, until we realized just how serious of a matter this scam truly is…
Preventing spinal stenosis is impossible. We can tell you this 100% for certain. There is certainly no miracle product or treatment that can prevent stenosis from occurring in the central vertebral canal or in the neuroforaminal openings of the vertebral column. Anyone who says otherwise is a complete liar. However, this is not the end of the story.
This essay details guidance on how spinal stenosis occurrence can be possibly be reduced. We will provide some tips on maintaining a healthy spine and these tips might just have some positive influence on the future occurrence of spinal stenosis, which you must know is a completely normal and universally observed part of aging. We will also debunk the scammers who insist that their garbage product will prevent back pain, including that caused by spinal stenosis.
Prevent Spinal Stenosis Claims
Some truly scam products exist and are being actively marketed to desperate consumers who have pain or fear a recurrence of pain. The product we mention in the opening section is one such scam and consists of a plastic piece of garbage that claims to provide spinal decompression treatment at home, with results “comparable to a chiropractor or osteopath”. This product is a complete waste of time and money. Not only does it claim to provide a cure for a variety of spinal ills, but it also goes one step further in saying that it can prevent pain due to spinal stenosis (and many other common back pain diagnoses).
This product is openly sold on many websites and we felt it our duty to warn consumers that it, and others like it, will NOT prevent or cure spinal stenosis. Period. This includes all traction and decompression systems for home use, any type of pill or topical medication and any variety of diet plan. None of these things will prevent disc desiccation and herniation, nor will they prevent osteoarthritis, which comprise the most common contributors to all types of spinal stenosis, including neuroforaminal stenosis and lateral recess stenosis.
Prevent Spinal Stenosis Reality
Spinal stenosis is normal and universally found in adults, especially in the neck and lower back regions. Stenosis occurs as a typical part of the aging process which affects the spine and the entire human anatomy for that matter. It is virtually unheard of for an adult of 40 or older to be free from stenosis. In fact, most people have mild to moderate stenosis of the neuroforamen at multiple spinal levels by this age and some people also demonstrate similar degrees of central vertebral stenosis. As we get older, the rate of stenosis increases until virtually all people demonstrate moderate levels of multiple types of stenosis at multiple locations in the spine in their senior years.
Stenosis is not normally symptomatic in its mild to moderate forms. Most people who are diagnosed with stenosis should not expect to suffer pain or neurological deficits, unless the condition is very severe and at risk of compressing neurological tissue. These cases represent the extreme exception to the rule that most people will not develop symptoms from usual accumulations of spinal stenosis due to age.
In no way can the processes which contribute to spinal stenosis be prevented. Age will cause the degeneration and herniation of the spinal discs to contribute to stenosis in most people. Arthritis in the spine is universal experience and no product will prevent it from occurring and contributing to stenosis. This is absolute. However, there are still proactive things you CAN do to help minimize stenosis and its potential symptoms.
Prevent Spinal Stenosis Tips and Guidance
Here is some general guidance that can decrease the chances of suffering symptomatic stenosis later in life:
Take care of your spine and do not risk it unnecessarily. Practice good posture and ergonomics starting when you are young and continuing for life.
Try not to injure your back. If you do become injured, be sure to allow it to heal and get the care you require to minimize scar tissue and lasting damage to the spinal tissues.
Eat right, exercise every day and never lead a sedentary lifestyle. Focus on general health and wellness, rather than simply concentrating on keeping your spine in good shape. The body is a unified machine. Dysfunction in one system or location will eventually affect all systems and locations.
Make sure to fully understand that spinal stenosis is normal to experience as you age. Do not allow any opportunistic care provider to tell you otherwise or convince you that normal mild stenosis is the reason for incidental back pain or neck pain. Remember that stenosis can certainly be symptomatic, but that most cases will never develop to the degree of causing pain. Also know that many cases of spinal stenosis are misdiagnosed as the source of symptoms, so be wary!