Causes and treatments for canal stenosis

Whether you have been diagnosed with canal stenosis or are researching this condition to learn more about the causes of your neck and back pain, learning more about the causes and treatments for this condition can be helpful.

Canal stenosis, also referred to as spinal stenosis, is a condition that affects the spinal column. It occurs when the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord, narrows. This narrowing does not necessarily cause symptoms, with pain and other problems typically resulting from compression of spinal nerves, which can result in pain at the neck or back, and tingling, numbness and muscle weakness in the extremities. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms associated with canal stenosis, it’s important that you visit your physician to receive an accurate diagnosis.

Canal stenosis causes

There are many possible causes of spinal canal stenosis, such as direct trauma to the spine. However, the most common causes of a narrowing spinal column are conditions that occur as a result of natural aging gradual wear. Some of these conditions include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Bulging discs
  • Bone spurs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Swelling of the joints or ligaments

Canal stenosis treatment

If you have been diagnosed with canal stenosis, consult with your doctor to create a course of treatment to best meet your needs. Treatments can vary from patient to patient but your physician will likely recommend conservative methods designed to help relieve your painful symptoms, such as:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy and stretching
  • Hot/cold compression therapy

Your doctor might also suggest you make certain lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, limiting your alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy body weight and participating in regular exercise. These adjustments won’t cure or reverse the effects of canal stenosis but they can help to improve your symptoms, overall health and well-being.

If conservative treatments are unable to provide you with relief from your pain, surgery may be an option but the large incision, hospitalization and long recovery time involved with traditional procedures make many patients anxious about the prospect of spine surgery. As a safer and effective alternative, Laser Spine Institute provides minimally invasive spine surgery involving an outpatient procedure with a less than 1-inch incision.^

To find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive, outpatient surgery at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today for a no-cost MRI review.*