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Lumbar Spinal Stenosis sufferers.... there is hope!!

People who suffer with this debilitating condition often have leg and/or back pain when walking or standing.  This pain is alleviated when they sit or flex forward.  This condition is the leading cause of the loss of independence of our senior patients and it leads to greater functional limitations than those people with severe knee or hip osteoarthritis.  Sadly, many people suffering with this condition do not qualify for surgery and options for care are limited.  People are often left with no options and gradually face an isolated life due to pain and limits in their ability to walk. As you can imagine, people can get frustrated and depressed as their abilities decline.

So what is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?  Lumbar spinal stenosis is usually caused by a type of arthritis that affects the lower back region. It can occur as a result of spinal osteoarthritis which is a wear and tear type of arthridity that worsens as we age. In some people this arthritis gets so severe it starts to choke the neural elements in the central spinal canal or lateral recesses where spinal nerves exit the bony spinal column. The resultant clinical presentation is a person that has difficulty standing or walking and typically produces pain, burning, numbness, tingling, and weakness of the legs, buttock, and lower back.

There is HOPE !!  The Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Boot Camp was developed at Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto) over the last 10 years. This program focuses on improving the quality of life and maintaining the independence among people suffering from this debilitating condition. We are now offering this evidence-based program of care that has been shown to improve walking distance and reduce pain. The program involves manual therapy, special exercises to help restore weak back and leg muscles and when combined with body realignment strategies, help to reduce the pressure on the compressed neural tissue when standing and walking. This disease is chronic and while there is no cure, this treatment strategy will help one live more effectively with it and gain more control over it.

For more information or to refer a family member please call us or visit our website at to email us.

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  1. John Ferguson says
    Feb 10, 2024 at 12:23 AM

    Hello, I recently had an MRI and was diagnosed with Lumbar spinal stenosis. I have had mild back pain for many years at the base of my spine on the left side. I have played hockey most of my life and I also have been weight training for 40+ years. I am 75 years old. I take no medications, I am 5'9 and 170 pounds. I am quite lean and athletic. In the last year or so I have developed neuropathy in my feet. It started when my feet would get cold while sitting up in bed with my back against the head board. Then after a while it started to feel like I was walking on bubble wrap. At this point I am not limited in my movement. It does not hurt to walk, I still play hockey once a week and I have altered my weight training so I do not put stress on my lower back. I am doing many different stretches at home for my hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Also I do a lot of calf raises on my toes to relieve pressure on the nerves in my feet. I really want to find a way to slow down the progression of the stenosis. Can you please give me some information regarding your program for spinal stenosis? Where is it held and at what time? What is the cost? How many days a week is it? Is it or any part of it covered by OHIP? Any information would be much appreciated. Regards, John Ferguson

    • says
      Feb 12, 2024 at 12:19 PM

      Hi Mr. Ferguson, The lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) boot camp is not a group activity. It is an individual treatment protocol that occurs in a regular treatment visit to the office. The program has condition-specific techniques to maximize spinal and neural mobility. Targeted home exercises will maximize aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. Body repositioning and self-monitoring will help to maximize standing, walking and functional abilities. Each patient needs to be examined to determine if they are appropriate candidates for the program. If you are eligible for the program, a workbook is provided that will be used throughout the program and is yours to keep. The program itself consists of 2 visits per week for 6 weeks. Sadly, there is no OHIP coverage for this program but some of the cost could be supported by any extended health care benefits you may have. The cost of the program is $1,110 and this includes the examination and the 12 treatment visits. Each visit you will receive a manual therapy protocol and will be shown exercises specific for LSS. Exercises will be added each week and the intensity will also increase weekly. This program is designed to teach you what you need to be doing every day to build your reserves of strength as soon as possible. As you know, LSS will progress with age and increased pressure on the nerves can result in progressive leg weakness and loss of mobility and independence.

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