Five spinal canal stenosis treatment options your doctor may recommend
If you’ve been diagnosed with spinal canal stenosis you will probably have many different treatment options to consider. Most treatments are conservative, or nonsurgical, in nature and can be easily combined; your doctor can offer guidance to make sure you are taking the best possible approach. If conservative treatments don’t produce the results you need after being fully explored, you can also consult with a surgeon to discuss more advanced options for treating your canal stenosis. However, surgery is typically reserved for serious cases that don’t respond to nonsurgical treatments, so it is important to thoroughly exhaust conservative options first.
Conservative canal stenosis treatments
Commonly recommended initial spinal canal stenosis treatments include:
- Pain medications. Medications for canal stenosis can work in different ways; some help reduce inflammation while others block pain signals in the brain. There are over-the-counter and prescription options available depending on the severity of symptoms and a patient’s individual needs.
- Physical therapy. A licensed physical therapist can show patients how to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the spine, which improves flexibility and may reduce pressure on pinched nerves. Regular sessions can be a highly beneficial form of spinal canal stenosis treatment.
- Epidural spinal injections. This method typically involves a corticosteroid and a local pain medication. The pain medication blocks pain immediately but only for a brief period of time, while the steroid works more slowly but reduces inflammation around pinched nerves on a longer term. Results typically last for several weeks to several months. The medications are injected directly into the epidural space of the spine, and injections can be repeated in a series if additional pain relief is necessary.
Canal stenosis surgery options
If you and your doctor decide that conservative treatments have been fully attempted and that surgery may be the best option, there are two main approaches to spine surgery you should be aware of:
- Traditional open spine surgery. Spinal stenosis surgery can be performed as a traditional open spine procedure. This typically involves a large incision, overnight hospitalization and a long recovery period.
- Minimally invasive spine surgery. This approach, including the procedures performed by the surgeons at Laser Spine Institute, involve muscle-sparing techniques to reduce the impact of surgery on patients. Laser Spine Institute’s outpatient procedures offer patients a lower risk of complication and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional open spine surgery.^
To learn more about your spinal canal stenosis treatment options, including the minimally invasive, outpatient procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today. Our caring and dedicated team will be happy to perform a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.