Lumbar spinal stenosis-diagnosis and management of the aging spine

Man Ther. 2011 Aug;16(4):308-17. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2011.01.010. Epub 2011 Mar 2.


Low back pain and lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is an extensive problem in the elderly presenting with pain, disability, fall risk and depression. The incidence of LSS is projected to continue to grow as the population ages. In light of the risks, costs and lack of long-term results associated with surgery, and the positive outcomes in studies utilizing physical therapy interventions for the LSS patient, a non-invasive approach is recommended as a first line of intervention. This Masterclass presents an overview of LSS in terms of clinical examination, diagnosis, and intervention. A focused management approach to the patient with LSS is put forward that emphasizes a defined four-fold approach of patient education, manual physical therapy, mobility and strengthening exercises, and aerobic conditioning.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Low Back Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Low Back Pain / therapy
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiopathology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physical Examination
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Spinal Stenosis / diagnosis
  • Spinal Stenosis / physiopathology
  • Spinal Stenosis / rehabilitation*
  • Spinal Stenosis / therapy