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. So this condition is the narrowing of the central spinal canal that protects 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 nerve roots pass as they leave the spinal cord and go to various body parts. Both types of stenosis potentially cause severe symptoms if the narrowing causes nerve compression. These symptoms can include pain, numbness, weakness, tingling and muscular paralysis. Since stenosis is often related to degenerative conditions caused by aging, it is not always possible to prevent. However, there are some steps that may be taken to slow down the potential development of this condition.

Avoiding central canal stenosis risk factors

Many of the ways to maintain a healthy spine are the same steps to take for general health. The spine supports the majority of your body weight and enables movements like twisting, bending and flexing. Keeping the spine healthy usually involves limiting the pressure being placed on it while doing everything you can to keep the joints and discs healthy. Here are some ways to keep the spine flexible and supple over the years, as well as maintain overall health:

  • Avoid smoking and other tobacco products
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stretch
  • Limit 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.

Treatment for spinal stenosis

If despite all efforts to prevent central canal stenosis you still develop this condition, your doctor will generally first recommend a treatment program consisting of conservative methods such as physical therapy, exercise, hot/cold therapy and medications.

Some people may be recommended for surgery in certain cases, however. If symptoms persist after weeks or months of conservative treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery.^

We can help you receive your free MRI review* to see if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.