On initial consultation it was clear that Micheal was at the end of his tether. Unable to stand up straight and with his pain level at an excruciating 10, particularly on his left flank. He had history of fractures and scar tissue and has burnt out his thyroid. Because of his driving schedule, I was only able to see him every two weeks.
“I am a lorry driver and have been a long term Spinal Stenosis sufferer in constant pain, having to rely on Pain Management and Spinal Epidurals.
In the past year these have not been very successful resulting in 2 hospital admissions as my back was in spasm. In the mornings my body was stuck in the position I had slept in and unable to move, in great pain I would eventually get out of bed sometimes taking up to an hour. I would then have to take my pain killers Diazipam,Tramodol and Diclofenic to get through the day although still in constant pain.
In July 2017 I had my last epidural which offered no relief. My consultant suggested I give Bowen Therapy a try, something I hadn’t heard of. I looked it up and contacted Natalie who assessed me and confirmed I was broken, but was certain she could help me.
By the forth Bowen session I was pain free, and by my 8th appointment (which includes the assessment) I was able to stop taking my medication. I am now medication free and can get out of bed in the mornings with ease. This has only been possible thanks to Natalie’s knowledge and ability in the Bowen Technique and her support throughout. I will continue to see Natalie on a regular basis in order to stay pain free.”
Once again I cannot thank Natalie enough.
Bowen Treatment Plan
During the consultation it was clear that he was someone who wouldn’t let pain stop him from doing anything, so getting him to change his life style was a long shot. After his first basic treatment, his posture began to look straighter and he was able to bend to put his shoes on. He was still in a lot of pain and described feeling like “he’d been hit by a sledge hammer”. In his second treatment both knee caps where locked so I applied hamstring and knee / gastrox moves. On arrival of his 3rd session he was visibly angry, he had a lot of stress to deal with, and the pain he was experiencing was intense. I always find this situation quite tricky, and had to hold my nerve and try and tap into the site of pain. I did an assessment of his coccyx which as tender, so I applied the moves both ways…. On his 4th session he reported that he had no pain. It was immediately evident in his face, he was relaxed and smiling and his mood was jolly, he had lost weight and his muscle tissue had gone from a yellowing shinny texture to soft and pink. On his 6th session he was in a bad way again, his stress was high, his pain was high and his attitude despondent. I often see this in clients, what I call ‘a return to symptom’. It happens when an emotional trigger sets of the old compensatory pattern. The body gets lost, so to speak, and returns to it’s old coping strategy and lines of tension. The client often feels like they are back at square one. On this session I applied the pelvic moves to reestablish balance in the pelvic girdle. After this session Micheal began to make considerable improvement and as he said in his testimonial by session 8 he was able to stop taking his pain killers.
Although Bowen cannot do anything to arrest the Spinal Stenosis, what it can do is create space around it. Once the lines of ‘pull’ or tension have been softened in the body, the structure can find an efficient way of being more organised, to restore fluidity in movement. As a Bowen therapist I am very lucky to have Micheal’s commitment to keep coming back and all the amazing teaching I have received to help me do the best for my clients.
What is Spinal stenosis?
Many people have evidence of spinal stenosis on an MRI or CT scan but may not have symptoms. When they do occur, they often start gradually and worsen over time. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the stenosis and which nerves are affected.
In the lower back (lumbar spine)
- Numbness or tingling in a foot or leg
- Weakness in a foot or leg
- Pain or cramping in one or both legs when you stand for long periods of time or when you walk, which usually eases when you bend forward or sit
- Back pain
Herniated disk and bone spurs on spine
The backbone (spine) runs from your neck to your lower back. The bones of your spine form a spinal canal, which protects your spinal cord (nerves).
Some people are born with a small spinal canal. But most spinal stenosis occurs when something happens to narrow the open space within the spine. Causes of spinal stenosis may include:
- Overgrowth of bone. Wear and tear damage from osteoarthritis on your spinal bones can prompt the formation of bone spurs, which can grow into the spinal canal. Paget’s disease, a bone disease that usually affects adults, also can cause bone overgrowth in the spine.
- Herniated disks. The soft cushions that act as shock absorbers between your vertebrae tend to dry out with age. Cracks in a disk’s exterior may allow some of the soft inner material to escape and press on the spinal cord or nerves.
- Thickened ligaments. The tough cords that help hold the bones of your spine together can become stiff and thickened over time. These thickened ligaments can bulge into the spinal canal.
- Tumors. Abnormal growths can form inside the spinal cord, within the membranes that cover the spinal cord or in the space between the spinal cord and vertebrae. These are uncommon and identifiable on spine imaging with an MRI or CT.
- Spinal injuries. Car accidents and other trauma can cause dislocations or fractures of one or more vertebrae. Displaced bone from a spinal fracture may damage the contents of the spinal canal. Swelling of nearby tissue immediately after back surgery also can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
Most people with spinal stenosis are over the age of 50. Though degenerative changes can cause spinal stenosis in younger people, other causes need to be considered. These include trauma, congenital spinal deformity such as scoliosis, and a genetic disease affecting bone and muscle development throughout the body. Spinal imaging can differentiate these causes.
Rarely, untreated severe spinal stenosis may progress and cause permanent:
- Balance problems