Spinal canal stenosis is a term describing narrowing of the passageway that protects the spinal cord. This can be caused by a number of underlying conditions and is often associated with the natural aging process. Symptoms related to this condition can be very disruptive to everyday activities and can begin to affect your job and relationships if left untreated. Relief for this condition is possible and while there is no way to completely prevent it, there are steps you can take to improve your overall spine health and decrease the chances of this condition developing.
Canal stenosis prevention
The natural process of aging and the associated degeneration of spinal components is the most common cause of spinal stenosis. That means it can be difficult to prevent narrowing of the spinal canal, since none of us can avoid getting older and the effect this can have on our bodies. However, maintaining overall good health can mean having a healthier neck and back as you get older. Central to good spinal health is getting regular exercise, including gentle stretches, aerobic activity and weight-bearing exercises. Activities that involve intense, repetitive twisting and bending, or sports that pose a risk of forceful impacts, can contribute to the breakdown of spinal components, so avoiding these activities altogether, or at least wearing proper safety gear and taking precautions against spine injuries, is important.
Conservative treatment methods for canal stenosis
If this condition is diagnosed, doctors generally begin canal stenosis treatment with a course of conservative therapies. Effective treatments differ from person to person, so it can take some time to find the specific combination of conservative treatments that most effectively manage symptoms and improve range of motion. Some of the more commonly used treatment approaches include:
- Taking pain medications
- Using heat and/or cold therapy
- Undergoing physical therapy
- Making lifestyles changes, like quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, regularly exercising and losing weight
- Pursuing alternative treatments like yoga, chiropractic care and acupuncture
In many cases, using one or more of these techniques can reduce the pain, muscle weakness, numbness and other symptoms associated with canal stenosis. Conservative treatment doesn’t always provide effective relief for everyone, however, and some people may find spine surgery to be a viable option.
USA Spine Care
If conservative treatment for canal stenosis hasn’t sufficiently relieved your symptoms, consider the minimally invasive spine surgery provided by USA Spine Care as you explore your surgical options. Our surgeons use advanced technology and muscle-sparing techniques that allow for an outpatient procedure with less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.
To learn more and to receive a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to our team of Spine Care Consultants today.