How conservative canal stenosis treatments like medication can deliver sufficient relief
Conservative canal stenosis treatments like pain medication and anti-inflammatories can often prevent the need for surgery. Occasionally, surgical intervention is recommended to address debilitating neck or back pain associated with spinal stenosis. However, such recommendations are generally made only as a last resort when a patient’s symptoms do not respond sufficiently to several weeks or months of conservative treatment. The majority of canal stenosis patients are able to find adequate relief through the medications described in the following article.
What do canal stenosis treatments like medication target?
Canal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal becomes excessively narrow, usually due to the presence of excess tissue, like spinal disc matter or bone spurs within its confines. This type of anatomical debris is often produced by degenerative spine conditions, such as a herniated disc or osteoarthritis.
If excess tissue constricts the spinal canal and exerts pressure on a sensitive nerve root or the spinal cord itself, uncomfortable symptoms can arise, including localized and radiating pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. In general, the goal of conservative canal stenosis treatments is to manage the symptoms of neural compression. For this purpose, over-the-counter and prescription medications are often very effective.
Types of medications used to treat canal stenosis
Some of the medications that are often recommended by doctors to relieve the symptoms of canal stenosis include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain
- Acetaminophen, which can relieve pain but does not address inflammation
- Opiate pain relievers, which can alleviate severe pain that is unresponsive to over-the-counter medications
- Epidural steroid injections, which can lessen severe inflammation around a nerve root
Surgical canal stenosis treatments
If the symptoms of canal stenosis do not decrease after several weeks or months of medication or other nonsurgical treatments, a doctor might recommend surgery to widen the spinal canal and decompress the affected neural structure. Prospective patients should be aware that a highly invasive open spine procedure is not the only way to accomplish this. Some patients are candidates for the minimally invasive procedures at Laser Spine Institute, which are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery.^
At Laser Spine Institute, our procedures reduce hospital-associated costs and do not require a lengthy rehabilitation period.^ Since 2005, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from debilitating neck and back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Through a decompression procedure, our highly skilled surgeons are able to remove the particle causing pressure in order to alleviate your canal stenosis symptoms. Please contact us for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if minimally invasive spine surgery would be effective in relieving your chronic pain.