Treatment for spinal narrowing is designed to alleviate back and neck pain that is caused by nerve compression in the cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back), and lumbar (lower back) spine segments. In most cases, treatment is first attempted conservatively with a variety of nonsurgical techniques, with spine surgery reserved for patients who suffer from debilitating pain or symptoms that persist for several weeks.
In order to determine which treatment is right for your spinal narrowing, you need to first visit your doctor. Spinal narrowing – otherwise known as spinal stenosis – is often caused by a variety of degenerative spine conditions that are unfortunate byproducts of the natural aging process. These conditions are largely unavoidable and are the culmination of years of wear and tear. Here’s what you can expect during an office visit:
- A review of your medical history – your doctor will ask you detailed questions about your symptoms, their intensity, and location, and try to determine the cause of the pain.
- A medical examination – your doctor will conduct a series of tests in the office, including spine palpation, to locate the source of your discomfort.
- Schedule of an imagery scan – in many cases, your doctor will recommend an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.
Once the diagnosis of spinal stenosis is confirmed, your doctor will recommend a variety of conservative, nonsurgical treatments that are designed to reduce nerve compression and alleviate pain. Some examples of recommended treatments include:
- Hot/cold compresses
- Physical therapy, low-impact exercises, stretching techniques
- Pain medication, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants
- Limited rest
- Alternative medicine
In the event that conservative treatment does not provide you with the pain relief you require, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about our state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedures.