Finding effective lumbar spinal stenosis treatment
Spinal stenosis, or narrowing, in the lumbar (lower) spine can have many causes, but is commonly brought on by age-related conditions like arthritis or degenerative disc disease. These conditions happen so often in the lumbar region because this area of the spine supports the weight of the upper body while still being flexible enough for basic movement.
While not always painful, spinal stenosis can cause chronic symptoms if the narrowing is sufficient to put pressure on spinal nerves. Shooting pain, a pins-and-needles sensation and mobility problems in the lower body can all result and interfere with your ability to lead an active life. Fortunately there are many options for spinal stenosis treatment; the following information can help you be more informed as a patient so you can partner with your doctor to find the relief you deserve.
Developing a spinal stenosis treatment plan
Upon diagnosing spinal stenosis as the source of your lower back pain or other symptoms, treatment will usually begin with a round of basic conservative options. These can include:
- Limited periods of rest
- Medication, both over-the-counter and prescription, as needed
- Use of hot and cold compresses
- Physical therapy to strengthen supporting muscles and improve range of motion
- Spinal injections to reduce inflammation and relieve pressure and irritation of nerves
Another aspect of spinal stenosis treatment that shouldn’t be overlooked is making any necessary lifestyle changes that may be needed for a positive impact on your spinal health. This may include taking steps to improve posture, starting a weight management program or quitting smoking.
It may take some trial and error to find the right combination of treatments for your spinal stenosis treatment plan. You should also be patient and consistent with any doctor-recommended changes to your daily routine.
When to consider surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis
In a large number of cases patients are able to find the relief they require for a good quality of life through nonsurgical spinal stenosis treatment. But if you and your doctor have decided conservative options have been fully explored, you may be referred to a specialist to discuss the possibility of spine surgery.
Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery that offers an outpatient alternative to traditional open back procedures. Our board-certified surgeons+ have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief since 2005.
Learn more by contacting our caring team today. We’re happy to offer a review of your MRI or CT scan, provided at no cost,* to help you find out if you are a candidate for one of our procedures.