Innovative PT Solutions: Spinal Stenosis

Innovative Newsletter MANAGING SPINAL STENOSIS... DON’T LET IT STOP YOU! According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, spinal stenosis is a silent epidemic. It is estimated that 2.4 million Americans will suffer from spinal stenosis by 2021. (continued inside)

Dr. Cheryl Howard PT, DPT, Cert. MDT Owner

Innovative Newsletter



The Top 4 Ways to Relieve Stenosis

Exercise To Help With Pain

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the spine, the canals shrink in size and may also have bone spurs. This irritates the nerve roots, especially when the spine is extended. Sitting typically feels better, but standing and backwards bending increase pain. Is surgery needed? There is a big push towards fusion surgery for spinal stenosis and back pain. However, studies show that surgery should be a last resort, after conservative measures such as physical therapy are performed. In the vast majority of cases, surgery is not needed and people will have significant if not complete relief of their symptoms with physical therapy. Physical therapy targets the muscles and joints of the spine to build strength, improve stability of the spine and maintain the foramen as open as possible. If you believe you have spinal stenosis symptoms, then call us today to speak with one of our expert physical therapists. Our SPINE program has helped thousands of patients successfully relieve their back and stenosis pain.

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Spinal stenosis occurs mostly in people 50 and over, but can occur in younger adults with a history of arthritis.

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” Quote of The Month:

What is spinal stenosis? Spinal Stenosis refers to the narrowing of the canals in your spine that are formed by the vertebrae. This narrowing can impinge on the nerves exiting your spine or the spinal cord itself. Symptoms can vary, but often include radiating pain to the back, buttocks and even legs. Furthermore, weakness and poor balance in the legs can often occur, making it difficult to tolerate walking long distances and prolonged standing. Foraminal stenosis This is the most common form of spinal stenosis. It refers to the narrowing of the foramen canals on either side of the spine formed by the vertebrae above and below the segment. In each canal, spinal nerves exit the lower back to supply different parts of the pelvis and legs. With age and deterioration of the discs between

- Vince Lombardi


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Patient Spotlights “The staff deserves praise for their upbeat, smiling service. Believe me, you’re appreciated!” “Hi! Before my treatment I was awakened during the night by the shoulder pain and I was very limited in what I could do daily. Carrying my purse and opening doors were difficult. I worked mainly with Ms. Drake, who was very personable and inventive, with ideas and exercises to accommodate my carpal tunnel and tennis elbow issues. Vast improvements have been made! I never have acute pain anymore - only discomfort on occasion. The staff deserves praise for their upbeat, smiling service. Believe me, you’re appreciated!” - Kezia S. “They both made the recovery process easier and bearable!” “Nathan & Ashley were both very professional and their wealth of knowledge was immense. They both made the recovery process easier and bearable!” - Larry T. Spinal stenosis is a mechanical problem of movement in your body. While medication may help to numb the pain, it does not fix the underlying mechanical problem. Here are tips on how you can improve your stenosis and back pain symptoms: 1. ICE Icing at the low back area on the affected side helps to decrease the inflammatory process. Use a flexible ice pack with a moist thin towel to make it easier to tolerate the ice. Use for 10 minutes and off for 30 minutes. Make sure to check your skin often and stop if it becomes painful. Apply 2-3 times a day, especially after repetitive bending or standing activities. 2. Improve Hip and Spine Flexibility Restoring natural movement to the spinal joints, hip joints and sacroiliac joints, helps to relieve abnormal pressures on the sciatic nerve. It allows your body to move freely when doing normal everyday tasks and prevents injury and strains. Care should be taken when stretching to be gentle and work with your breathing. Never push through pain and avoid exercises that aggressively extend the spine. 3. Strengthening Your Core Your core muscle groups are the spinal muscles, abdominal muscles, pelvic and hip muscles. By doing exercises that combine these muscle groups together you can develop an internal corset that supports your spinal column. Gentle Pilates and core strengthening exercises are good, however, be sure to consult your physical therapist before starting exercises you are unsure of doing.

4. Manual Physical Therapy Hands on specialized manual physical therapy techniques restore the natural movements of the spinal, hip and sacroiliac joints. This helps to open the foraminal canals in the spine. Physical therapists are the unique medical professionals who are trained extensively in these types of techniques. If you are suffering with back pain or spinal stenosis, don’t put off getting help as your condition weakens the spine further and can set you up for more extensive injury in the future. Call us today to speak with one of our physical therapists and see for yourself, what a difference our SPINE program can make for your back.

Healthy Recipe

Crunchy Chicken & Mango Salad

• 2 teaspoons sambal oelek, optional • 6 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage • 2 cups sugar snap peas, thinly sliced diagonally • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast • 1 medium mango, sliced • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint • ¼ cup sliced scallions • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

INGREDIENTS • ⅓ cup orange juice • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar • 3 tablespoons less-sodium soy sauce • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

INSTRUCTIONS Whisk juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sambal oelek (if using) in a large bowl. Add cabbage, peas, chicken, mango, mint and scallions; toss gently to coat. Serve the salad sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Exercise To Help With Pain: Try this simple exercise to help you feel better... Share this with a friend or family member to help keep them healthy too!

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Good Stretch For Lower Back


SINGLE KNEE TO CHEST STRETCH While lying on your back, hold your knee and gently pull it up towards your chest until you feel a resistance in your lower back. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Return to start position and repeat 5-10 times per side.

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We joined forces with “The Foundation for Community Betterment” to share our passion for giving back to the community, our love for the great outdoors, creating and nurturing great friendships and living the best lifepossible on the St. Lawrence River!” PADDLE FOR A PURPOSE Ch i p p ewa B a y Po k e r R u n 2019

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