How is spinal stenosis treated? Conservative and surgical options
If you’ve been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, you may be wondering how this condition is treated.
For many, it is a big relief to learn that spinal stenosis can usually be treated without the need for surgery. In some cases however, it may be advised to undergo spine surgery if nonsurgical treatments are unable to provide adequate relief after several weeks or months.
Spinal stenosis explained
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the space within the spinal canal, which is the area that houses and protects the spinal cord, as well as other nerve pathways in the spinal column. This condition can be attributed to many different causes ranging from age to injury to birth defects.
The most common cause of spinal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition, such as a herniated disc or spinal arthritis, which has pressed into the spinal canal or a nerve root and narrowed the available space there.
Spinal stenosis is relatively common with age and is not always painful unless nerve compression symptoms develop, which may include pain, numbness, muscle weakness and tingling that travels along the compressed nerve.
Typically, treatment for spinal stenosis initially focuses on managing your symptoms, improving range of motion and promoting spine health rather than actively decompressing the affected nerve.
Common nonsurgical treatments for spinal stenosis may include:
- Physical therapy
- Quitting smoking, improving posture and other lifestyle changes
- Applying heat and/or ice to the neck or back
- Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen
- Spinal injections
- Therapeutic massage
Surgical treatments for spinal stenosis
If your spinal stenosis symptoms are not relieved by nonsurgical treatments after being thoroughly explored, your doctor may recommend spine surgery.
Spine surgery can be used to help decompress the pinched nerve that is causing your pain. However, all surgery options come with potential risks and benefits. For example, traditional open spine surgery is a highly invasive procedure that is typically associated with overnight hospitalization and a long and potentially difficult recovery period.
However, there are options for minimally invasive spine surgery, including the procedures at Laser Spine Institute which are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery.^ Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis with muscle-sparing techniques and a smaller incision, allowing for a streamlined outpatient experience.
Laser Spine Institute
As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, we offer both minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures to treat a wide range of spine conditions, including spinal stenosis. We have a patient satisfaction score of 96 and patient recommendation score of 97 out of 100.^ If you’re ready to take the next step toward pain relief, contact Laser Spine Institute.
We can provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for our procedures.