How to treat neurogenic claudication

Neurogenic claudication is a group of symptoms that develop commonly with lumbar spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back. Neurogenic claudication, specifically, describes the limping that sometimes occurs with severe nerve compression in the lower back. This nerve compression can extend down the leg and into the foot, causing limping and difficulty walking or standing.

Often, people with neurogenic claudication can experience immediate (though temporary) relief by sitting down or bending forward at the waist. The symptoms of discomfort in the lower back, buttocks, thighs or calves begin to diminish when the spine is stretched. This is because the compressed nerves that are causing the symptoms are given more space, thereby removing the pressure on the nerve.

However, this relief is only temporary. Lasting pain relief can be achieved after talking with your doctor about the conservative and surgical treatments available for your condition.

Conservative treatments for neurogenic claudication

Neurogenic claudication symptoms typically begin as mild pain in the lower back or tingling in the buttocks, thighs or calves. These symptoms can be experienced on both sides of the body (bilaterally) or only on one side (unilaterally). Symptoms tend to worsen over time, especially if the original cause of the condition is left untreated.

If the symptoms associated with neurogenic claudication persist, a physician may recommend a course of conservative treatment. These methods include:

  • Exercise geared toward flexing the spine forward, thereby creating more space for the affected nerve structures
  • Over-the-counter or prescription medication that reduces pain or inflammation
  • Epidural steroidal injections that temporarily reduce pain in the area affected by nerve compression
  • Behavior modification that encourages better posture habits
  • A brace or belt to support the lower back and inhibit activities that produce symptoms

Minimally invasive treatment for neurogenic claudication

If the symptoms do not lessen after several months of conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend spine surgery for more effective pain relief.

Before committing to traditional open back surgery, you should research the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. The benefits of our procedures include:

  • Safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery
  • Shorter recovery time^
  • Lower risk of complication or infection
  • Outpatient procedure
  • 96 patient satisfaction score^

Because of these advantages, our minimally invasive spine surgery is often the clinically appropriate first choice for treatment over traditional open back surgery.

After reviewing your MRI report or CT scan, our team will determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery. Some patients with less severe nerve damage may be recommended to undergo minimally invasive decompression surgery, while patients with more severe damage may require minimally invasive stabilization surgery. This will all be discussed prior to your procedure.

To find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Let us help you recapture your life from chronic back pain.