How canal stenosis treatment works

Approaches to canal stenosis treatment vary, depending on the location and severity of the symptoms and on the underlying causes. This condition describes narrowing of the central spinal canal and is often caused by degenerative conditions like a herniated disc or spinal arthritis. However, the overall goal of treatment is to relieve pain and improve range of motion so you can comfortably engage in normal activities and enjoy time with the people you love. The following overview of how canal stenosis treatment works can give you a better understanding of what to expect as you work with your doctor to develop an effective care plan.

Conservative treatment for canal stenosis

Many of the symptoms caused by canal stenosis result from the compression of nerves within the spine, a problem that can lead to pain, numbness, weakness and other issues. To relieve these issues, your doctor will often recommend you start with a course of conservative canal stenosis treatment approaches. Some commonly suggested methods include:

  • Specific exercises and physical therapy to strengthen supporting muscles
  • Stretching exercises to temporarily expand the spinal column and take pressure off pinched nerves
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve swelling and reduce pain
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation around nerves and dull pain, especially pain that spreads from the location of the nerve compression to the extremities
  • Lifestyle changes like starting a weight management plan, quitting smoking and improving posture

It is important to work closely with your doctor as you seek lasting relief for canal stenosis. Since every patient is different, finding the right combination of treatments that are best for you may require some trial and error.

Surgical spinal canal stenosis treatment

Surgical canal stenosis treatment usually attempts to address the underlying cause of the condition by removing the displaced spinal anatomy that is constricting the spinal canal. Surgery is typically a last resort for patients who attempt a full course conservative treatments without experiencing enough relief for a good quality of life.

Historically, traditional open spine surgery, a highly invasive procedure requiring overnight hospitalization, was the only surgical option to provide symptom relief. Advances in medical technology and surgical technique have allowed for the development of minimally invasive procedures that require less disruption of the surrounding muscles.

As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute offers decompression and stabilization procedures performed on an outpatient basis. By using a small incision, often less than an inch, we can offer patients a streamlined experience with less risk of complication and no lengthy recovery compared to traditional procedures.

To learn more about minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our team can review your MRI report or CT scan at no cost* to determine if you’re a potential candidate for one of our procedures.