The spinal cord is the lifeline of your body. Messages flow from your body up to your brain and then back down to the body in an amazing communication cycle that allows perfect coordination of all your body parts 100% all the time from birth to death, as long as the cord is working properly.
The spinal cord snakes from your head to your pelvis through the canal formed by the holes in the back side of your vertebrae.
Usually there is plenty of room inside the canal for the cord to flop around a bit. The spinal fluid circulates nicely around the cord and allows the cord to be cushioned and nourished adequately.
Over time poor posture causes settling of the spine. As the spine settles the ligaments inside the canal may fold inward and make the canal narrower. This leads to choking of the spinal cord. The settling also leads to a reactive overgrowth of the bone both around the disc and at the joints along the back. You may have been told you have arthritis. Well, this is what the arthritis really is - a reactive overgrowth of bone due to abnormal force.
This closing around the cord is called spinal stenosis. It can be a progressive choking that may affect one or more levels.
As this occurs,the messages from the brain down the spinal cord to the feet and from the feet back up to the brain are interfered with causing static-like messages to be transmitted.
Your legs become weak and you start to have difficulty getting up from a chair. Balancing becomes difficult. Sometimes you don't notice it until you try to stand on one leg for a while. Then you feel like you wouldn't pass the sobriety test. As the pain worsens in the back and the legs you may notice numbness in your thighs or legs.
This gradual worsening of disability may not be noticed for decades but can become gradually more debilitating. Some people can't walk for more than a block without stopping and sitting down due to the pain. You may catch yourself leaning over the shopping cart to support yourself as that is one of the only relief positions you can find.
By the time you are getting concerned about losing your mobility the process is already very advanced. Surgery is sometimes recommended and may help for a while, depending on the type of surgery. But you may outlast the surgery and have the problem return. Sometimes another surgery is not an option.
Conservative care is often the best option, even after you have had surgery.
The most important goal of care must be to elongate the spine to allow the ligaments to unfold and the cord to become more mobile. Unless the cord is lengthened the stenosis will return.
Non-surgical spinal decompression using the DRX9000 is one of the main tools for doing this. This procedure gently and safely decompresses the discs and allows improved circulation to occur around the spinal cord.
Other important parts of the treatment plan include increasing flexibility of the spinal joints and ligaments, strengthening the posture muscles and retraining the brain to control and coordinate the posture muscles so a stress-free posture becomes automatic.
Correction of the structural cause of stenosis gives you the best chance of avoiding surgery, or even another surgery.