What are my options for spinal canal stenosis treatment?

Spinal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition that describes the narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal is a pathway within the spine that surrounds the spinal cord, protecting it as it carries messages between the body and brain.

While the narrowing of the spinal canal alone is not symptomatic, a nerve traveling in the canal can become trapped or compressed due to the constriction, resulting in pain and other symptoms. Often, symptoms of spinal stenosis include pain at the site of the compressed nerve, as well as pain, numbness and tingling in the local extremity. For example, if a nerve is pinched in the cervical (upper) spinal canal, the pain may radiate from the neck to the head, shoulder, arm or hand.

If you’ve been diagnosed with spinal canal stenosis, you understand the pain and discomfort that can be caused by this condition. If left untreated, these symptoms could begin to prevent you from performing your daily activities, such as household chores and golfing. You should talk to your doctor about the canal stenosis treatment options available to you, if you notice your symptoms interfering with your everyday life.

Conservative treatment for spinal canal stenosis

Spinal stenosis is often caused by the natural aging process of the spine. Conservative treatments that focus on stretching the spine and strengthening the surrounding muscles are often effective in relieving the pain and symptoms of this condition.

The first step prior to beginning spinal canal stenosis treatment is to diagnose the location and cause of the stenosis. In most cases, spinal stenosis is caused by another spine condition that has resulted in a vertebra or disc shifting out of alignment and into the spinal canal. For example, a bulging disc is a disc in the spine that expands into the spinal canal due to pressure from surrounding vertebrae. This could cause a portion of the spinal canal to be narrowed and could ultimately lead to a pinched nerve and symptoms.

Once the cause of the spinal canal stenosis has been identified, your physician can help you determine the best course of treatment to relieve your pain. Conservative therapies, such as physical therapy and stretching, can help to lengthen the spine and take pressure off the affected nerve. Exercises like Pilates can help to strengthen the core muscles around the spine to better support the weight of the upper body.

Surgical spinal stenosis treatment at Laser Spine Institute

For patients who do not respond to conservative treatments, surgical treatment may be suggested to create additional space in the central canal and decompress the trapped nerve root.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer several types of minimally invasive procedures to treat spinal stenosis. Our surgery is an alternative to traditional open back or open neck surgery because our procedures use a smaller, muscle-sparing incision.
The type of minimally invasive procedure performed will depend on the cause and location of your spinal stenosis. We have minimally invasive decompression surgery for mild to moderate spine conditions and minimally invasive stabilization surgery for more severe spine conditions. Our surgeons and physicians will perform a thorough physical examination and review of diagnostic imagery before determining the best route of treatment for your specific needs.

To date, our minimally invasive surgery has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. We successfully perform more procedures each month than any other spine surgery facility in the world, establishing Laser Spine Institute as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Because of our commitment to patient-centered care, we see a patient satisfaction score of 96 and a patient recommendation score of 97 out of 100.^

To learn more about spinal canal stenosis treatment and to schedule an initial consultation, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We’ll provide a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you’re a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.