What Is Spinal Stenosis?
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
“Spinal stenosis” refers to a condition in which the path for nerves within the spine has narrowed. That path for nerves is called the “spinal canal.” Broadly speaking, the spine is made of three things, as in the illustration: ① bone, ② intervertebral discs, and ③ nerves.
“Spinal stenosis” refers to a condition in which pressure is placed on the nerves because of constriction (narrowing) of the abovementioned spinal canal. There are three types of spinal stenosis: ① foraminal stenosis (which involves pressure on the nerve root), ② central stenosis (which involves pressure on the nerves at the end of the spinal cord), and ③ combined stenosis (affecting the nerve root and nerves at the end of the spinal cord). Foraminal stenosis heals comparatively easily, and there are many conservative treatment methods (such as medication and rehabilitation). With central or combined stenosis, it is known that, in many cases, symptoms will not improve without surgery.
When you get spinal stenosis, numbness or pain appears in your low back and legs. For example, it is similar to how your legs become numb if you kneel and sit back on your heels for a long time and pressure is placed on the sciatic nerves on the backs of your thighs, and if the pressure continues without stopping, pain appears in your legs. Furthermore, because pressure on the nerves is not strong in symptoms’ early stages, even if you do not feel numbness or pain in most situations, pressure becomes strong when you exercise, and pain and numbness may appear with intensity. That type of phenomenon in which numbness and pain occur when you exercise is called “intermittent claudication.” It is also called “intermittent claudication” when your calf muscles hurt and you cannot continue walking.
What Is the Cause of Spinal Stenosis?
It has been discovered from the results of recent research that intervertebral disc damage is concerned in the root cause of spinal stenosis. We will explain the reason for that below. Chronic back pain does not appear in childhood, but that is because there is no damage to intervertebral disc cushions, bones, or nerves, and their function is normal. However, as we age, since much burden is placed on the area of the low back, intervertebral disc damage (in the form of cracks) begins to occur from as early as around the age of 16. And so the nucleus pulposus that is the source of the cushion component leaks out from the damaged parts, the intervertebral disc itself is reduced, and the cushion function deteriorates. When the cushion function deteriorates, it takes a toll on the bone, and bone deformity begins. If bone deformity arises, the spinal canal, which is the space where the nerves are, will first become narrow, and pressure will start to be placed on the nerves. In other words, it has been discovered that spinal stenosis begins from damage to the intervertebral discs.
Cracks have appeared in the fibrous ring.
The intervertebral disc has collapsed, the bone is deformed, and pressure has been placed on the nerve.
How Is Our Clinic’s Treatment Effective for Spinal Stenosis?
First, since surgery for spinal stenosis exists, we would like simply to do a comparison. Surgery began typically to be performed in the 1960s, but bone was removed, immobilizing the area was sometimes necessary, the risks of surgery were high, and it was not a treatment of the root cause, so the high recurrence rate of 30-46% (within 2 years) was a problem. Now people have figured out how to use endoscopes and make the scar small, but by the same principle, surgery does not treat the root cause, so the risks and recurrence rate remain high.
Spinal fusion (surgery)
Intervertebral disc treatment taking into consideration the problems with surgery explained above began in the 1980s. At present, DST (Discseel™ treatment) has also begun. The principle of DST is that it is a treatment that, by improving intervertebral disc function, can improve the burden on the bones, at the same time eliminating pressure on the nerves. DST’s distinguishing features are that the risks are extremely low because it just repairs intervertebral discs, and the recurrence rate is low because it treats the root cause of spinal stenosis.
Contrast radiography is continuously performed. Contrast radiography makes evident the presence or absence of intervertebral disc damage.
A tissue-adhesive agent is administered to the damaged part of the intervertebral disc.
Because the agent is made of biological material, allergies and side effects are extremely rare.
Images before and after the treatment.
5 Types of Outpatient Treatment for Low Back Pain
The DST Method (Discseel™)
An intervertebral disc treatment that began in the United States in the 2010s. Can be suitable for a wide range of conditions, including problems in patients after surgery. It is the only （※2）treatment that can repair and regenerate intervertebral discs.Click here for details.
※2 According to research by Operation Japan (Ltd.)
The PIDD Method (Implant)
An implant intervertebral disc treatment that has been conducted since the 2000s. As with PLDD, results without injury to intervertebral discs can be anticipated. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.Click here for details.
Hybrid Laser Treatment
A treatment that combines the benefits of PLDD and PODD. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.Click here for details.
The PODD Method (Ozone)
An ozone intervertebral disc treatment that has been conducted mainly in Europe since the 1990s. It can be suitable for a wide range of conditions.Click here for details.
The PLDD Method (Laser)
An outpatient, laser intervertebral disc treatment that has been well known worldwide since the 1980s. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.Click here for details.