How Physical Therapy Can Ease Spinal Stenosis: Study

Reuters reported that “physical therapy may work as well as surgery for easing symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis, a common cause of nerve damage and lower back pain among older people, a study suggests.”

“‘Surgery is a riskier procedure, with about a 15 percent complication rate, and half of those are life-threatening,’ said Dr. Anthony Delitto, chair of physical therapy at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. ‘It isn’t a life-risking procedure to do physical therapy.'”

“Lumbar spinal stenosis, a compression of open spaces in the lower spinal column, can lead to pinched nerves, tingling, weakness and numbness in the back and the lower extremities. The condition becomes more common with age, and an estimated 2.4 million Americans may have it by 2021, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.”

“Delitto and colleagues set out to see if they could show that physical therapy, long known to be safer than surgery, could work as well as at easing symptoms.”

The study, titled “Surgery versus nonsurgical treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis: a randomized trial,” can be found here.