Spinal stenosis treatment — what a doctor may initially recommend

Once diagnosed, spinal stenosis treatment usually begins with conservative, nonsurgical methods. If your life has been put on hold from stenosis pain, you may be glad to know that many patients do not require surgery for stenosis to regain a high quality of life. Depending on the location of nerve compression in the neck or back, the symptoms requiring treatment can be shooting pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness.

Conservative treatments

To relieve these painful nerve compression symptoms, your doctor will probably recommend some of the following conservative spinal stenosis treatment methods:

  • Pain medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Low-impact exercise
  • Lifestyle changes, like losing weight or quitting smoking

Alternative treatments

Although alternative spinal stenosis treatment methods are outside the medical mainstream, many patients have been able to find meaningful relief from these treatments. Some methods are even starting to gain acceptance from physicians looking to take a more holistic approach to pain management. Alternative treatments can include massage, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, meditation and yoga, among others. As always, keep your doctor informed of any alternative therapy you decide to undergo.

When surgery becomes an option

Although the majority of patients find relief from their spinal stenosis symptoms with several weeks or months of conservative treatments, a small percentage of patients may not respond to these methods and continue to be debilitated by their symptoms. At this point, a physician may recommend surgery to attempt a permanent solution for stenosis causes.

If your physician has asked you to think about surgical spinal stenosis treatment, consider the procedures offered at Laser Spine Institute. Our orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons perform minimally invasive, outpatient surgeries to treat a number of degenerative spine conditions that can cause spinal stenosis, such as herniated and bulging discs, thickened ligaments and bone spurs. Contact Laser Spine Institute and we’ll conduct a no-cost review* of your MRI to determine if you could be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive surgeries.

Browse Related Resources