Can spinal stenosis be cured?
Spinal stenosis is a term for narrowing in the spinal column, including both the central spinal canal and the small openings that allow nerve roots to exit. There are a very wide range of causes that can lead to spinal stenosis and related nerve compression, which makes the question of whether spinal stenosis can be cured a difficult one to answer.
In some cases, such as a minor injury, the underlying cause of spinal stenosis can heal and cause narrowing to be relieved. However, one of the biggest contributors to spinal stenosis is the natural aging process, which does not have a cure and no one can avoid. As we get older, the parts of the spine start to wear out. This leads to joint and disc degeneration that in turn cause conditions like bulging discs or bone spurs, which can narrow the already tight nerve pathways in the spine. Even when spinal stenosis is age related, there are still treatment options that can be highly effective for this condition.
Treating spinal stenosis
If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis as the source of symptoms like pain, tingling, muscle weakness and numbness in the extremities, keep a positive attitude and follow your doctor’s recommendations for conservative treatment. Treatments that can help relieve spinal stenosis include:
- Low-impact exercise such as walking, swimming and strength training
- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other medications as needed
- Therapeutic massage
- Chiropractic treatment
- Physical therapy
- Spinal injections
- Hot and/or cold therapy
- Posture improvement
- Lifestyle changes like eating a healthier diet or quitting smoking, if needed
It may take some trial and error to find the best treatments and in the right combination to help you manage spinal stenosis, but it is possible. Although there is no cure for degenerative changes to the spine, specific instances of spinal stenosis can improve — especially if the condition is properly managed and patients are proactive about their spine health.
When to consider spinal stenosis surgery
If a full course of conservative treatment has not brought the relief necessary for a good quality of life, you may have begun to consider your surgical options. The goal of spinal stenosis surgery is to access the spine and open up space to relieve narrowing and nerve compression. At Laser Spine Institute, we are able to accomplish this with minimally invasive spine surgery that can be performed on an outpatient basis. Because we take a muscle-sparing approach to the spine, our patients experience no lengthy recovery and less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.^ Contact our caring team today to learn more about spinal stenosis treatment.
When you speak with us, ask for your free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.