Canal stenosis refers to narrowing of the central spinal canal, which protects the spinal cord. There can be a wide range of specific causes for this, from age-related degeneration to injury. While this is a fairly common condition and not always painful, they can be very disruptive to regular activities if they do develop.
Conservative treatments are usually first recommended for patients who are experiencing pain related to spinal canal stenosis and often the best approach will involve working with a physician to develop a plan that involves a combination of specific treatment approaches. While medications can be used for canal stenosis treatment, they will generally only be recommended as part of a more comprehensive plan.
Types of canal stenosis medication
Canal stenosis medications can be either prescription or over-the-counter drugs. In most cases patients will be asked to first attempt to manage pain and other symptoms with over-the-counter medications, with stronger medications being reserved for the most severe pain. Types of medications that a doctor may recommend to treat this condition include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen
- Prescription pain medication or muscle relaxants
- Spinal injections that involve a corticosteroid and a numbing agent
When taking medication for canal stenosis treatment, it is critical to use the medication only as directed by your doctor and use only the minimum amount needed for pain relief.
Other canal stenosis treatment options
A full conservative treatment plan for canal stenosis can also include light exercises and stretching, hot/cold compression therapy, physical therapy and chiropractic care. It is also important to follow any recommendations for lifestyle changes such as posture improvement, weight management or quitting smoking as these can be critical for promoting long-term spinal health.
Often by following a recommended canal stenosis treatment plan, including medication to manage pain, patients are able to find the relief necessary for a good quality of life. However, if pain worsens or it stops responding to conservative treatment options, spine surgery may be recommended.
If you are considering a surgical procedure, you should explore the possibility of minimally invasive spine surgery, including the outpatient procedures at USA Spine Care. Our board-certified surgeons perform these procedures using muscle-sparing techniques that lead to many advantages for our patients. Contact us today to learn more.
We’re happy to provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.