Methods for preventing and treating canal stenosis
Canal stenosis occurs when a section of the spinal canal narrows, usually as a result of a damaged disc, bone spur or another area of spinal degeneration or injury. Because the spinal cord is located in this canal, narrowing can sometimes produce uncomfortable symptoms like neck or back pain, coupled with weakness, numbness and tingling sensations in the arms and legs. This condition is also referred to as central stenosis or spinal stenosis. To learn about the strategies to prevent and treat this debilitating condition, read the following article.
Preventing canal stenosis
A small number of people are born with spinal canals that are narrower than normal, so these instances cannot be prevented. But, since most cases of canal stenosis usually stem from a damaged spinal component, practicing healthy habits that can help preserve spinal health and slow degeneration is often the best prevention strategy.
If you’d like to decrease your likelihood of developing conditions that can lead to canal stenosis, be sure to:
- Maintain a healthy weight. The spine facilitates motion while bearing the weight of the body. Having excess weight places additional strain on the spine, accelerating degeneration and increasing the risk of injury.
- Keep your core muscles strong. While an excessive amount of high-impact exercise could be detrimental to spinal health, engaging in activities that strengthen and stretch core muscles is key to avoiding back injury. When the muscles surrounding the spine are healthy, they help to stabilize and sustain the spine.
- Have good posture. Too much slouching and slumping can increase the risk of spinal injury and degeneration.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking decreases bone density and the health of the spine’s discs, which increases the likelihood of fractures and accelerates spinal degeneration.
Conservative treatments for canal stenosis
Canal stenosis treatment can take on many forms depending on the underlying cause of the narrowing, the patient’s overall health and several other factors. However, most people are able to benefit from conservative treatments, such as:
- Medications to reduce pain and inflammation
- Corticosteroid injections
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Lower back bracing, in the case of lumbar stenosis
Individuals with severe canal stenosis may not respond to conservative treatment methods. In such cases, surgery may be recommended to address the condition responsible for the narrowing. Our highly skilled surgeons utilize muscle-sparing techniques that minimize scarring, the discomfort after surgery and overall recovery time.^ To learn more about the types of minimally invasive procedures we offer to help treat spinal canal stenosis, contact us today. We are here to help guide you through your journey to wellness.
At Laser Spine Institute, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. While traditional open spine surgeries can require long incisions and lengthy recovery periods, Laser Spine Institute offers outpatient procedures that are performed through a less than 1-inch incision in order to remove the structures causing pressure in the spine. To learn if you are a candidate for canal stenosis surgery at Laser Spine Institute, reach out to us today to receive a no-cost MRI review.*