How is spinal stenosis treated? Conservative and surgical modalities

If you’ve been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, you may be wondering — how is spinal stenosis treated?

You may be relieved to learn that spinal stenosis can usually be treated without surgery. A minority of patients, however, may be advised to undergo spine surgery if nonsurgical treatments provide inadequate 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. This condition can be attributed to many different causes, including spinal tumors and congenital deformity, which is a condition present at birth.

The most common cause of spinal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition, such as a herniated disc or spinal arthritis, that has pressed into the spinal canal and narrowed the available space there.

It generally is only when this occurrence compresses a spinal nerve, nerve root or the spinal cord itself that you experience spinal stenosis symptoms, which may include pain, numbness, muscle weakness and tingling that travels along the compressed nerve.

Conservative, nonsurgical treatments

Typically, treatment for spinal stenosis initially focuses on managing your symptoms rather than decompressing the affected nerve.

Common nonsurgical treatments for spinal stenosis may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Quitting smoking and other lifestyle modifications
  • Applying heat and/or ice to the neck or back
  • Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen

Surgical treatments for spinal stenosis

If your spinal stenosis symptoms are not relieved by nonsurgical treatments after several weeks or months, your physician 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. Open spine surgery is a highly invasive procedure that is typically associated with a long and difficult recovery period.

However, there are options for minimally invasive spine surgery — a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery. A minimally invasive procedure is performed on an outpatient basis with muscle-sparing techniques and a smaller incision, allowing patients to experience a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication.

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 no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for our procedures.

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