Canal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition that can lead to painful symptoms which can limit your ability to enjoy your daily life. While this condition often develops due to the effects of the natural aging process, there are several ways that you can reduce your chances of developing canal stenosis.
Understanding canal stenosis
Also referred to as spinal stenosis, canal stenosis is defined as a narrowing of the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord and extends the length of the spine. This “narrowing” can be the result of several different types of intrusions into the spinal canal, including bone spurs, bulging discs, ruptured discs and inflamed facet joints due to osteoarthritis.
Canal stenosis prevention
There are several ways that you can decrease your likelihood of developing one of the conditions that can cause canal stenosis. They include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight. One of the most prominent causes of the development of degenerative spine conditions is obesity. The spine endures a great deal of wear and tear through the years, and having to support extra weight only increases the stress it is under.
- Exercising regularly. Strengthening the muscles around the spine can help to reduce the stress the spine endures on a daily basis.
- Limiting alcohol usage. Heavy alcohol use is often a contributing factor in weight gain and should be avoided.
- Eliminating tobacco and nicotine usage. Smoking and other forms of nicotine use can limit the blood flow to the spinal discs, as well as inhibit bone healing.
- Avoiding contact sports. While exercise is usually considered a positive step toward good spinal health, sports such as football, hockey, basketball and gymnastics can speed spinal degeneration and increase your chances of developing canal stenosis.
Canal stenosis treatment options
A daily regimen of conservative treatments such as hot/cold therapy, pain medications, physical therapy and stretching has been shown to help relieve the symptoms of canal stenosis for many patients. Alternative treatments such as chiropractic care, acupuncture and yoga may also help to keep the symptoms of this common condition in check. For some patients, however, surgery becomes an option if they are not experiencing the results they desire.
USA Spine Care is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery,^ treating a full range of degenerative spine conditions, including canal stenosis. To find out if you are a candidate for our outpatient surgery, contact USA Spine Care today.