My back and legs are really painful!

“I need to sit down after walking for a while because of my leg pain”

“I also have numbness, heaviness, weakness in my legs”

“I have cramping in my calves at night”

“If I walk with a shopping cart or walking frame, I feel much better”

If this sounds like your story, you may have “Lumbar Spinal Stenosis”

One of the common causes of low back related leg pain in the elderly is lumbar spinal stenosis. This is the most common reason for the low back surgery in the elderly.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis is known to be caused by a lack of blood circulation in the neural tissue of your low back (Please note there is more to it than meets the eyes like many other conditions).

Can physiotherapy help your lumbar spinal stenosis?

The simple answer is “Yes!”.

Dr. Carlo Ammendolia and his colleagues in Canada conducted a study about the effectiveness of the 6 weeks of comprehensive rehabilitation program (twice a week) for people with lumbar spinal stenosis in 2018.

They found significant improvement in their walking ability, which is affected the most in this population.

The program consists of:

  1. Manual therapy
    1. Improving your low back mobility
    2. Improving your hip flexibility
    3. Improving your upper back mobility
    4. Nerve mobilisation
  2. Muscle Exercises
    1. Trunk Muscles
    2. Hip Muscles
  3. Cardiovascular fitness exercise
    1. Stationary bike
  4. Education about the home exercise program and the condition


Currently, rehabilitation for 3 – 6 months is suggested before you decide to receive surgery (laminectomy with or without lumbar fusion).

Also, it is important to know that other conditions can cause pain in your back and leg, including peripheral vascular disease, disc herniation, hip osteoarthritis, increased nerve sensitivity, and other joint problems in your back and adjacent joints.

If you suspect you have lumbar spinal stenosis, it is important to come and get a thorough examination from your physiotherapist to understand your problem.

The physiotherapists at Health on Grange are capable of assessing and treating people with lumbar spinal stenosis, and we can also offer the rehabilitation mentioned above.

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