Risk factors for spinal canal stenosis
Spinal canal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal and often comes as a result of another degenerative spine condition. For example, a herniated disc that protrudes into the spinal canal can narrow the passageway between the walls of the canal and the spine itself. When this happens, a nerve root passing through the spinal canal can become pinched, resulting in pain that begins at the spine and radiates along the nerve pathway into the extremities.
Nerve compression is the primary cause of the unwanted neck and back pain, numbness, weakness and tingling associated with spinal canal stenosis. Since spinal canal stenosis is a degenerative condition that often develops over time, there are certain precautions that you can take to help you avoid or delay the onset of this condition. While sometimes spine conditions are unavoidable, some people may be able to reduce their risk by making a few lifestyle changes described below to promote spine health.
Methods for reducing spinal canal stenosis
Maintaining overall good health habits may help you reduce your risk of developing spinal canal stenosis. Some examples of healthy lifestyle changes include:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Exercising regularly
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake
- Keeping good posture
By making changes to benefit your overall health, your spine health will also increase. Consult your doctor if you need help accomplishing any of these lifestyle changes. He or she can help you find an exercise and diet program that will help you maintain a healthy weight and overall benefit your spine.
Treatment for spinal canal stenosis
While there are several steps that can help you reduce your risk of developing spinal canal stenosis, the condition is sometimes unavoidable. If you are diagnosed with this degenerative spine condition and are suffering from pain and other symptoms, your doctor will most likely recommend a regimen of conservative treatments to help reduce pressure on your spine and the impacted nerve root that is causing your pain.
The most common forms of conservative treatment to relieve spinal stenosis include chiropractic care, physical therapy and yoga. In some cases, your doctor may recommend pain medication to take during your conservative treatment regimen to help expedite your pain relief. However, for some patients, a more precise treatment is required to heal spinal canal stenosis if several weeks or months of conservative treatment do not provide you with adequate relief from your symptoms.
This typically occurs when the spinal canal stenosis is caused by a severely herniated disc or large bone spur. In this situation, your doctor may recommend seeing if you are a candidate for the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. We offer minimally invasive decompression surgery to remove a small portion of the bone spur or damaged disc in order to create more room in the spinal canal.
In some cases, the entire damaged disc must be removed because it can no longer help support the spine. The surgeons at Laser Spine Institute would then use a minimally invasive stabilization procedure to insert an artificial disc into the empty disc space to offer immediate support of the spine. If you are interested in learning more about our minimally invasive surgery or to see if our procedures would be effective for your condition, contact Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a free MRI review.*