Canal stenosis is a condition that develops when the spinal canal, which holds the spinal cord and nerves, is too small. This can result in pressure on these structures, which leads to possible symptoms including difficulties with keeping your balance, loss of sensation and loss of coordination as well as pain, numbness, tingling and weakness.
Patients beginning a canal stenosis treatment plan often worry about the effectiveness of their treatments. After all, most patients experience chronic neck or back pain before visiting a doctor, so it’s understandable why patients would be concerned about whether or not conservative treatments work. Read on to learn more about the conservative and surgical treatment options available for this debilitating condition.
Conservative treatment options for canal stenosis
For many patients, conservative canal stenosis treatment is an effective method of pain relief. In fact, many patients with canal stenosis are able to find relief and avoid spine surgery after just a few months of consistent conservative treatment, like pain medications, physical therapy, steroid injections, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants and heat massages. While the treatments alone are often effective, there are a few things you can do to make you canal stenosis treatment even more effective, such as:
- Drink more water. Often, bone spurs develop due to the natural degeneration of the spine. Along with degeneration comes dehydration, which can further deteriorate the facet joints and spinal discs. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout your canal stenosis treatment plan to hydrate your spine and promote healing within your discs and joints.
- Weight management. For many people, obesity and general weight gain can be attributed to the development of a spine condition, which can lead to canal stenosis. By losing excess weight, you are relieving pressure on your spine and allowing your canal stenosis treatment plan to more effectively heal the damage within your spine.
- Strengthen your core. If you have canal stenosis in your lumbar spine, practicing core-strengthening exercises will help reduce pressure on the pinched nerve within your spinal canal. Talk to your doctor about low-impact exercises you can add to your canal stenosis treatment plan to help relieve some of the weight on your spine.
Surgical treatment options for canal stenosis
If you have exhausted all conservative canal stenosis treatment options and you are still suffering from chronic pain, your doctor may recommend seeing if you are a candidate for surgery, such as the minimally invasive spine surgery offered at USA Spine Care. At USA Spine Care, we have a patient recommendation score of 98 out of 100,^ which speaks to our commitment to providing exceptional service to all of our patients.
Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative compared to traditional open neck or back surgery, allowing patients to experience a shorter recovery time and lower risk of complication comparatively.^ The team of dedicated surgeons at USA Spine Care uses a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques in order to provide patients with lasting relief that can help them get back to the activities they love.
Through a no-cost MRI review* of your spine, we will be able to determine if we have a surgical option to relieve your canal stenosis symptoms. To learn more about the types of minimally invasive procedures we offer to help treat chronic neck or back pain, contact us today.