Spinal stenosis prevention can be a complicated proposition, because two of the primary causes – the natural aging process and genetic predisposition – defy avoidance. Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal or other neural passageways and can lead to painful nerve compression. Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease cause various components of the spinal anatomy to break down, shrinking the spaces where nerve roots exit the spinal cord. While preventing stenosis is virtually impossible, there are ways to prepare the body to cope with its potential consequences.
Healthy Habits for Stenosis Prevention
Symptoms associated with nerve compression caused by spinal stenosis include localized or radiating pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness in the areas of the body innervated by the affected nerve or nerves. Generally, the better your physical fitness, the better prepared you are to manage these symptoms – or to avoid them altogether. Here are a few healthy habits that can help mitigate problems typically associated with stenosis:
- Eat a low-fat, low-sodium diet to maintain optimum weight
- Exercise regularly, emphasizing cardiovascular fitness
- Practice good posture, with back straight, shoulders square and head up
- Be conscious of body mechanics, especially when lifting heavy objects
- If you smoke, quit; ingredients in cigarettes constrict the blood vessels and cause many other health problems
Treatment Options for Spinal Stenosis
If spinal stenosis prevention proves ineffective and nerve compression results, a patient normally can manage symptoms using conservative treatments such as pain medication, physical therapy, massage or behavior modification. However, if chronic pain persists after weeks or months of conservative treatment, surgery might become an option. Tens of thousands of patients have found relief at Laser Spine Institute, where the orthopedic specialists perform minimally invasive, outpatient procedures using gentle, endoscopic techniques. Contact?Laser Spine Institute to learn more or for a free review of ?your MRI or CT scan.