Central canal stenosis prevention
If you were recently diagnosed with central canal stenosis, it helps to have a firm background in this condition as you begin to seek treatment. The word “stenosis” is derived from the Greek word “stenos,” meaning “narrow.” “Canal” refers to the central vertebral canal, which houses the spinal cord. Therefore, canal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the central vertebral canal housing the spinal cord.
Central spinal canal stenosis is referred to by various names, such as spinal stenosis, canal stenosis or central stenosis. Foraminal stenosis refers to stenosis of the vertebral foramen, the passages through which spinal nerves pass as they leave the spinal cord and go to various body parts. Both types of stenosis potentially cause severe symptoms when the stenotic opening strangulates neural tissue. Nerve compression can cause pain, numbness, weakness, tingling and muscular paralysis. Since stenosis is related to aging, prevention of all stenosis is not possible. However, there are some steps that may be taken to retard the development of this condition.
Steps to take
Many of the ways to maintain a healthy spine are equally applicable to complete body health. This is logical since spinal health is closely linked to overall well-being. The spine supports the majority of your body weight and enables movements like twisting, bending and flexing. Without the ability to engage in these movements, a person could not be considered healthy, just as without spinal health, many of these functions are impossible. Here are some ways to keep the spine flexible and supple over the years, as well as maintain overall health:
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Exercise regularly
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
Each of these recommendations can help keep your spinal anatomy as strong and healthy as possible, potentially combating the natural degeneration that takes place with aging, including the development of central canal stenosis.
If despite all efforts to prevent central canal stenosis you experience its symptoms, your physician may recommend a treatment program consisting of conservative, nonsurgical interventions such as physical therapy, specific exercises, hot/cold therapy and pain medications. Some individuals, however, will require surgery. If symptoms persist after weeks or months of conservative treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our outpatient, minimally invasive alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery. Call today for your MRI review to see if you are a candidate for our surgery.