Spinal Stenosis Treatment in Encinitas

We are a Great Drug-free First Choice for Treatment

If you are looking for spinal stenosis treatment in Encinitas, please read on to learn how we can help.

Lower back pain in adults can be debilitating and is often attributed to missed days of work, decreased physical activity, and overuse of pain medications.

One type of lower back pain, called lumbar spinal stenosis, usually results from the degeneration of discs, ligaments, or any of the joints between the interlocking vertebrae (called facet joints) that form the spine. This wear and tear (often due to chronic arthritis) can narrow the space surrounding the spinal cord, drying out spinal discs and compressing the spinal nerves (cauda equina)  and their nerve roots.

This condition mostly appears in patients aged 60 and older and can cause a painful and potentially disabling narrowing of the spinal canal. Specific symptoms of spinal stenosis include:

  • Pain while standing or walking that gets better if you rest (sit or lie down),
  • Twinge in the groin, buttocks, and upper thigh that does not move down the leg (like sciatic nerve pain),
  • Pain that feels worse when you lean back and becomes less intense if you lean forward, and
  • Discomfort that develops slowly over time, with a slow onset.

Lumbar spinal stenosis is frequently treated with surgery. But a recent clinical study funded by the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and published recently in the medical journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that physical therapy works just as well as surgery, but with considerably fewer complications for the patient.

Here’s a Summary of Information Regarding this Study

The study took place from November 2000 to September 2007. A total of 169 participants were randomly assigned and stratified by surgeon and sex (87 to surgery and 82 to PT), with 24-month follow-up completed by 74 and 73 participants in the surgery and PT groups, respectively. Mean improvement in physical function for the surgery and PT groups was 22.4 (95% CI, 16.9 to 27.9) and 19.2 (CI, 13.6 to 24.8), respectively. Intention-to-treat analyses revealed no difference between groups (24-month difference, 0.9 [CI, -7.9 to 9.6]). Sensitivity analyses using causal-effects methods to account for the high proportion of crossovers from PT to surgery (57%) showed no significant differences in physical function between groups.

Without a control group, it is not possible to judge success attributable to either intervention.

Surgical decompression yielded similar effects to a PT regimen among patients with LSS who were surgical candidates. Patients and health care providers should engage in shared decision-making conversations that include full disclosure of evidence involving surgical and nonsurgical treatments for LSS.

Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25844995

Give Us a Try First…We’ve Helped North County for over 20 Years

While non-surgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medicine and physical therapy, do not reverse spinal narrowing, they can provide enough pain relief and mobility that you may just decide not to have surgery.

If you’ve been diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis, we are is available to help.

Please contact us today, and our team will work with you to devise a program to help you control your back pain and restore your mobility.



Encinitas Back Doctor Recommends Posture Exercise

If you are looking for an Encinitas back doctor, there’s one doctor, a doctor of physical therapy, that just could be the best kept secret in health care.

Your mother used to always tell you to stand up straight.  Was it good advice?  As an Encinitas Back Doctor of Physical Therapy, I believe so.  The team here at Gaspar Doctors of Physical Therapy often provide posture recommendations.

While there’s no solid clinical research to support postural education and back pain prevention, we feel it is still great advice.

No Clinical Data to Support Postural Education…Not Yet

Consider this study:


The PubMed electronic database and the Cochrane Library were searched based on a combination of keywords related to low back pain (LBP) and posture education. Only randomized controlled trial (RCT) studying the efficiency on outcomes directly related to LBP of a preventive intervention programme mainly based on education of proper care of the back for subjects not seeking treatment were included. References of the articles meeting these inclusion criteria were also checked to identify other potential citations. Besides, a methodological study assessment of the included RCTs was performed.


Nine studies, all conducted at the workplace were included in this review. Their mean quality level was low (5.1/12) and among the four studies with a huge sample size (n > 400 subjects), only one had an acceptable methodological quality score (6/12). The education interventions differed widely from one study to another. No significant differences between the control and education groups were found at the follow-up in eight out of the nine studies on the incidence of back pain, disability and sick leave.


The results of the RCTs included in this review suggest that educational interventions mainly focused on a biomechanical/biomedical model are not effective in preventing LBP. However, taking into account the methodological quality level of the RCTs as well as the very short and heterogeneous interventions often proposed, additional high-quality studies with a longer education period are needed to conclude that such interventions are inefficient.

Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22836365

Studying Posture Intervention Isn’t Easy

It would be very difficult to create a clinical research study that controlled for all the possible variables and clearly examined the prevention of back pain as it related to posture exercises.

Nevertheless, here’s some advice on how to maintain good posture.
In addition to a generalized flexibility program performed on a daily basis, this one easy tip will help you avoid having shortened muscles and avoid that “hunchback” posture we all never want to see in the mirror.

Give This Exercise a Try

My favorite time to perform this exercise is when I’m on a phone call with a headset, or a online presentation. I can stand and still work.

2-3 times a day, (more if you can) get up from your desk, and find a wall.

With your back to the wall, place your heels about 6-8 inches away from the wall, lean back. Your Gluteals (bottom) , Mid back, Shoulders will all make contact with the wall, hands at your sides. Do not force your lumbar spine flat against the wall just yet.

Roll your shoulders back, and turn your palms so that they face forward, this will rotate your shoulders back. You will feel the stretch in your chest a bit.

Next, while holding the “hands forward” try to tuck your chin a bit and get the back of your head on the wall.

We have now: Back of head on wall, shoulders and mid-back and bottom on the wall, with hands faced forward. Hold for 30 seconds.. Repeat 2-3 times a day.

A Review of Neck Pain Treatment in Carlsbad

Looking For Neck Pain Treatment In Carlsbad?

Are you are seeking neck pain treatment in Carlsbad? If so, you should seek the care of a physical therapist that is an expert in the care of neck pain, its causes, and the many ways to treat it. You will find just those experts at Gaspar Doctors of Physical Therapy.

The first thing your therapist will ask you is your lifestyle and medical history. This will help to determine if your neck problems were caused by major trauma or disease. They will also test your strength, range of motion, and attempt to rule out any serious underlying issues that may need attention.

Your personalized neck-treatment plan will:

  • Relieve stiffness and pain
  • Strengthen your neck
  • Improve your motion

US News Health says this about neck pain:

Neck pain doesn’t get nearly the attention that back pain receives, says Dr. Steven P. Cohen, director of the Johns Hopkins Blaustein Pain Treatment Center. “Neck pain is one of the top five causes of pain worldwide and in the United States,” he says. “But people don’t talk about it.”

More than 30 percent of people suffer from neck pain each year. Feeling stressed can hunch your shoulders, clench your jaw and tense your neck muscles – all of which contribute to neck pain. For most people, it fades away without treatment. But nearly half go on to have chronic or recurring pain, Cohen reports in the February Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Women are more at risk. So are people who do manual labor, health care workers, computer workers and military pilots, among others. Reference: https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/06/26/pain-in-the-neck-passing-crick-or-chronic-agony

There are many ways your physical therapist can help to manage your pain and get you moving again. Here are just a few:

  • Hot and/or cold packs
  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation
  • Stretches and exercises for your home program

Posture is very important. How you sit, stand, and hold yourself can play a huge role in your pain. We will teach you how to take pressure off of your neck and spinal muscles so that can you do your everyday activities without pain. We can even show you things you can do at home or work to modify your workstation and computer to decrease your chances of bothering your neck.


Do you need neck pain treatment in Carlsbad? Contact us at 760-707-5080 for a complete evaluation. We are experts at evaluating and managing neck programs.

Need a back pain doctor in Carlsbad? Call Gaspar PT today!

Looking for a back pain doctor in Carlsbad? Don’t wait it could cost you.  When it comes to having back pain, there are a few signs you should watch for so you can know when to seek out a back pain doctor. Some of these signs include the following:

  • Back pain from sitting too long.
  • Back pain from standing in one spot too long.
  • Back pain from walking too much or too long.
  • Back pain from bending over just for a short amount of time.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states:

If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. In a large survey, more than a quarter of adults reported experiencing low back pain during the past 3 months.

Men and women are equally affected by low back pain, which can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp sensation that leaves the person incapacitated. Pain can begin abruptly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time due to age-related changes of the spine. Sedentary lifestyles also can set the stage for low back pain, especially when a weekday routine of getting too little exercise is punctuated by strenuous weekend workout.

Reference – https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm

Physical Therapy Can Help

Having this type of back pain can be a sign that something is wrong and you should see a back doctor immediately. Physical therapy treatment can help your back pain in a short amount of time and with less cost to you than other types of medical care.

Which Diagnoses Do We Treat?

Here’s a list of diagnoses we treat and more information.  This is from our Medical Library:

Low Back Pain
Postsurgical Rehabilitation
Lumbar Stenosis

When you come to Gaspar Doctors of Physical Therapy, we will teach you a different approach toward the management of your back pain. If you stick to the program we teach you, chance are, even after your physical therapy is over, you will see a major difference with the pain. It will be reduced or will be gone for good as long as you continue the program.

There is never a reason to suffer from back pain. If you are experiencing it for any reason, contact Gaspar PT today at 760-634-9750 to find out what you can do to ease the pain or get rid of it altogether.