Spinal Stenosis Affects Gait and Causes Back Pain

January 09, 2024

Spinal stenosis affects gait…and today they’re working with “smart shoes” to measure gait abnormalities and connected altered walking patterns! Our Augusta chiropractic patients dealing with spinal stenosis often remark that they walk differently. That makes sense! Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic can help alleviate Augusta back pain and the related effects of spinal stenosis.

SPINAL STENOSIS AND ITS SIDE EFFECTS

Older folks are ever more affected by frailty and locomotive syndrome, and those who also experience lumbar spinal stenosis find themselves even more affected. In a study of such patients who were heading for surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis, all but 1 of the 234 patients had locomotive syndrome while 24.8% were documented to be frail. After surgery, those with frailty displayed improvement in locomotion. (1) Yet surgery does not necessarily enhance gait for all spinal stenosis patients. Researchers evaluated the sagittal vertical axis using a gait motion analysis with lumbar spinal stenosis patients before and after they underwent decompression surgery to see if there was any improvement in spatiotemporal – how and how quickly a person walks in terms of stride, pace, width of step, etc. - gait parameters. There wasn’t a variation in sagittal vertical axis, but there was significant difference in spatiotemporal parameters. (2) Cox® flexion distraction treatment delivered significant improvement to lumbar spinal stenosis patients in terms of  improved function, symptomatology, and performance-based mobility. Further all of their subjective improvement outcomes were statistically and clinically meaningful. (3) This is beneficial!

SPINAL STENOSIS AND POSTURE

It’s also beneficial to understand that lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) patient’s static spine and pelvic posture are linked to their symptoms.  A recent study investigated the question of how dynamic alignment of the spine and pelvic might be related to lumbar spinal function in the everyday life of LSS sufferers and found that weak hip or trunk extensor muscles, a more pronounced pelvic tilt angle, or smaller spinal flexion during gait gave rise to reduced daily-life lumbar function. (4) Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic seeks to improve the quality of life for our Augusta spinal stenosis patients and values studies that share what works. An up-coming study’s goal is to establish a set of data that can assist in defining and/or altering patient treatment plans, indications for surgery, and routines for post-surgery rehab for lumbar spinal stenosis patients who choose to have surgery. These patients come with a unique set of issues concerning posture, balance, ambulation biomechanics, paraspinal muscle quality and fatigue rates, as well as symptoms. (5) All of these contribute to a lumbar spinal stenosis patient’s care at Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic and outcome.

SPINAL STENOSIS AND BACK PAIN AND SMART SHOES!

To make sure that the clinical outcome is as good an outcome as possible, technology may come to the rescue. With lumbar spinal stenosis come gait abnormalities like decreased gait speed and unevenness due to muscle weakness and pain in the lower extremities. Don’t worry though. There are “smart shoes” to help. Smart shoes are wearable sensors that can sense gait changes quicker, easier, and cheaper. (6) In the meantime while their accuracy and cost-effectiveness are analyzed - since smart shoes may not be for everyone - the old fashioned in-clinic tests still work, and Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic knows them well! Find out during your examination!

CONTACT Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic

Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Nate McKee on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he describes how The Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management helps ease spinal stenosis and improve balance.

Make your Augusta chiropractic appointment now to see us especially if you find your gait being “off” and/or experience back pain. Spinal stenosis may be the culprit, and Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic knows how to deal with it!

Augusta back pain affects gait and walking patterns