The various treatment options for spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis can cause crippling symptoms that can affect your relationships, job and your ability to perform basic tasks like working in the yard or running errands. The good news is that many people who deal with stenosis are able to find the relief they need through a wide range of treatment options. The difficult part can be finding what kind of treatment is right for you. This is why it is always necessary to visit a qualified doctor to diagnose your condition and assist in developing a comprehensive treatment plan.
What is stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a condition that describes the gradual narrowing of the spinal canal or nerve root openings that protect spinal nerves, usually by a degenerative spine condition like a herniated disc or bone spurs. This condition isn’t necessarily symptomatic, but if it leads to compression or irritation of the spinal cord or nerve roots, the body may respond with pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and other symptoms.
Conservative treatment and alternative medicine for spinal stenosis
In almost every case, spinal stenosis treatment begins conservatively with a series of therapies that are designed to manage pain, improve range of motion and reduce strain from the affected region of the spine. It’s important to understand that it can take several weeks or months before sufficient pain relief occurs. While treatment options vary from patient to patient, some of the more commonly recommended techniques include:
- The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- The application of hot and cold compresses
- Low-impact exercises
- Stretching techniques
- Physical therapy
- Limited rest
- Posture improvement
- Epidural steroid injections
Additionally, many individuals turn to alternative medicine to complement their spinal stenosis treatment. While these treatments are outside the medical mainstream, many patients attest to finding relief from options like chiropractic therapy, deep tissue massage, acupuncture and acupressure. If you do attempt any alternative methods, always consult with your doctor to ensure it is compatible with your condition and existing treatments.
When to consider surgery for spinal stenosis
For some, conservative treatment is unable to provide the pain relief they require and surgery may become an option. If you have exhausted spinal stenosis treatments, but have concerns about undergoing a highly invasive traditional open spine procedure, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the advantages of our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery.
You can find out if you may be candidate for one of our procedures by reaching out to one of our Spine Care Consultants and asking for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan.*