If you’ve been diagnosed with canal stenosis, you may be searching for pain relief. Here’s what’s going on: as your spinal canal grows narrower due to the presence of excess tissue, such as a herniated disc, inflamed facet joint or bone spur, your spinal cord or a nerve root may become pinched. Depending on its location, a compressed spinal nerve can produce back pain as well as numbness, weakness and tingling sensations that travel through one or both legs.
Canal stenosis treatment does not always involve surgery
You may be able to find canal stenosis pain relief without surgery. In fact, many people successfully manage their mild-to-moderate discomfort with conservative therapies. After reviewing your diagnosis, symptoms, lifestyle and other factors, your physician can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for you, which may include:
- Regular exercise. A workout program that focuses on low-impact aerobic activities, such as walking and swimming, can promote circulation throughout your body and enhance your overall health and well-being.
- Over-the-counter medications. When taken as needed, pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce painful inflammation associated with canal stenosis.
- Spinal injections. If your pain is severe, your physician may recommend an injection consisting of a local anesthetic and corticosteroid medication, which can be administered directly into the epidural space of your spine to target your pain at its source and potentially provide lasting relief.
Surgery can address worsening symptoms
You may find that nonsurgical treatment is all that you need to achieve canal stenosis pain relief. However, while it can be highly effective, this approach cannot change the underlying cause of your discomfort — only surgery can do that. Therefore, if your symptoms continue to worsen, you may opt for surgical intervention to address the source of your spinal narrowing. In general, your physician may advise you to consider surgery if you’ve maintained conservative treatment for several weeks or months without seeing any meaningful symptom improvement.
The surgeons at USA Spine Care perform minimally invasive outpatient surgery that can potentially provide the canal stenosis pain relief you need. Our minimally invasive procedures are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine procedures.^ Contact us to request a no-cost MRI review.* Our caring team can explain your options and help you determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive surgery.