Spinal narrowing treatments can include conservative options and the potential for surgery

For patients with mild to moderate spinal narrowing, treatment options can include medications, exercise and alternative therapies. Patients with more advanced spinal narrowing may eventually consider surgery, but surgical procedures are not always necessary and patients are typically encouraged to explore conservative treatments first.

Pain and other symptoms like tingling, numbness and muscle weakness that are caused by spinal narrowing and nerve compression can be extremely difficult to live with. The discomfort and loss of mobility affect every part of life, from work, family time or even just being able to take the dog for a walk. In many cases, however, conservative options can bring the relief necessary for a return to normal, everyday activities.

Conservative treatments can help manage the symptoms of spinal narrowing

Most spinal narrowing treatments are designed to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with the nerve root compression that can occur as a result of the narrowing of the spinal column. These initial therapies are designed to keep symptoms under control and enable the strengthening necessary to return to a normal lifestyle. These therapies include:

  • Medications, including NSAIDs, prescription painkillers and prescription anti-inflammatory medications
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Low-impact exercise including stretching, yoga, walking and swimming, as directed by a physical therapist
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Heat therapy, ice therapy or a combination of both
  • Rest

Doctors will usually recommend attempting conservative treatment for a number of weeks or months to make sure options are fully explored. In some situations, lasting relief comes from finding the right combination of effective conservative treatments.

Surgery may be an option for more advanced cases of spinal narrowing

If conservative methods don’t provide enough relief, patients may eventually explore surgery. Several different surgical procedures can be used as a form of spinal narrowing treatment. Traditional open neck and back surgeries are one option, but they involve large muscle-tearing incisions that can lead to a long recovery time with a high risk of complications like infection and scarring.

If you are concerned about the risks and difficulties of a traditional procedure, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is performed on an outpatient basis because our surgeons use a less than 1-inch incision to access the spine and decompress nerves. This results in a shorter recovery time^ with less risk of complication than traditional procedures.

To find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants today to receive a no-cost MRI review.*