Physical Therapy for Spinal Stenosis

On April 6, 2015, the Annals of Internal Medicine published online an article by A. Delitto, PT, PhD, who conducted a randomized controlled trial of Physical therapy vs surgical treatment of patients with spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal nerves or spinal cord become compressed by a narrow canal or channel. This can happen at multiple levels in the spine or at a single level. Symptoms of spinal stenosis include pain when walking more than a few minutes, pain which is relieved by sitting down or leaning on a shopping cart.

The results of the study show that at two years, surgical decompression showed no differences compared with the group that underwent evidence-based physical therapy.

This study is good news for anyone interested in non-surgical treatment options for chronic back pain due to spinal stenosis.

Ref: Ann Intern Med. 2015; 162(7): 465-473