Alternative treatments for neurogenic claudication and spinal stenosis

Neurogenic claudication, which is nerve-related pain in the hips, buttocks and legs that can cause limping, is experienced by many individuals who have spinal stenosis in the lumbar (lower) spine. This is often accompanied by other symptoms including numbness, tingling, cramping and muscle weakness.

These symptoms can be debilitating, taking you away from family time, your job and everyday activities like cooking a meal or working in the yard. While conventional treatments like medication and physical therapy can be effective at managing symptoms, many patients will turn to alternative treatments if pain persists.

It is always important to consult with your primary care doctor when attempting new treatment methods. He or she can talk to you about how to best integrate alternative treatment options into a comprehensive care plan that can get you back to the activities and people you love.

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. This can be caused by a number of spinal conditions, including degenerative disc disease, spinal arthritis, bone spurs and bulging discs. These conditions can cause parts of the spine to shift out of place and intrude on neural passageways in the spinal canal. Symptoms, including neurogenic claudication, are the result of compression of nerve roots or the spinal cord itself that occurs from stenosis.

Alternative treatment options

While outside the medical mainstream, patients do report finding symptom relief from alternative treatment options. Some of the more popular alternative treatments for spinal stenosis include:

  • Acupuncture — This practice involves the insertion of tiny needles into specific areas of the body. This is said to unblock the body’s flow of energy, promote healing and reduce pain.
  • Massage — Massage therapy can help to relax tense muscles and reduce the pain of spinal stenosis.
  • Pilates — This form of exercise serves to strengthen the muscles in the back and abdominals. Stronger muscles can provide the neck and back with better support, which may help to ease the symptoms of spinal stenosis.

Surgical options are typically explored for spinal stenosis when weeks or months of either conservative or alternative treatments do not bring acceptable relief. If you are considering a traditional open spine procedure but are concerned about some of the risks and difficulties involved, reach out to Laser Spine Institute.

We have helped more than 75,000 patients with minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery. Our surgeons are able to access the spine to decompress nerves using a smaller incision than traditional open back surgery, leading to a faster rehabilitation.^

Contact us to learn more about these minimally invasive procedures and to receive your no-cost MRI review* to see if you may be a candidate.