A recent study and its findings were released regarding treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis lead by one of my former professors Anthony Delitto, an expert in conservative rehabilitation of the lumbar spine. The study was the first of its kind in which patients who were diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis were randomly placed into treatment groups, nonsurgical versus surgical. Studies in the past that have looked at nonsurgical versus surgical approaches to managing this condition allowed the participants to self select their treatment group.
The nonsurgical, physical therapy group received “instruction on lumbar flexion exercises including posterior pelvic tilts and supine knee-to-chest and quadruped flexion exercises; general conditioning exercises, including stationary cycling or treadmill walking; lower extremity strengthening exercises … ; lower-extremity flexibility exercises deemed appropriate … ; and patient education to avoid postures involving hyperextension of the lumbar spine”. This approach is used daily at Physical Dimensions along with mechanical spinal decompression to achieve pain relief associated with stenosis.
Functional outcome measurements were taken at baseline, 10 weeks, six months, 12 months and two years. The results of those measurements and the study showed that a conservative approach to managing lumbar spinal stenosis using an aggressive physical therapy regimen was just as effective as lumbar decompression surgery with fusion.
Conclusion: Come see us first before you consult with a surgeon! We will likely be able to manage this condition with short-term and long-term success with regular visits including manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and mechanical decompression. We also offer single use mechanical decompression for $20 if you are unable to make an appointment with one of our providers.