Spinal canal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal becomes constricted or narrows, usually as a result of the natural aging process of the spine.
While this is a common spine condition, it is possible to develop without a patient being aware of it. That is because most cases of spinal stenosis are not symptomatic. The narrowing of the spinal canal only results in symptoms when a nerve in the spine becomes compressed as a result. When this happens, symptoms of local and radiating pain may occur.
If symptoms do develop, you should seek medical treatment to help you find pain relief and return to an acceptable quality of life. Left untreated, degenerative spine conditions like spinal canal stenosis will worsen and may eventually prevent you from doing the activities in life you enjoy.
Conservative canal stenosis treatment
Often, the symptoms associated with spinal canal stenosis can be managed using conservative treatment. These methods of treatment include:
- Medications, such as acetaminophen, to relieve pain.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen or indomethacin, to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Corticosteroid injections into the area of the pinched nerve to reduce inflammation.
- Lifestyle changes such as weight loss and daily stretching.
- Prescribed exercises and/or physical therapy to maintain motion of the spine, strengthen abdominal and back muscles and build endurance, all of which help stabilize the spine.
- For lumbar spinal stenosis, a lumbar brace or corset is used to provide some support and help the patient regain mobility and strength.
Often, conservative treatments can be combined to help patients find effective pain relief. You should always consult a medical professional before combining treatments or beginning a new medication to ensure your safety throughout your treatment plan.
If conservative canal stenosis treatment is not enough
If chronic symptoms of stenosis persist after several weeks or months of conservative canal stenosis treatment, nerve decompression surgery may be recommended.
Before consenting to traditional spine surgery, contact the caring and dedicated team at USA Spine Care to learn about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery.
Our minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization procedures use special techniques to treat spinal stenosis and any related spine conditions on an outpatient basis. Unlike traditional open back surgery, which requires the muscles around the spine to be cut and detached, our surgery is performed with muscle-sparing techniques. This minimally invasive approach to the spine allows our patients to experience lower risks and a shorter recovery time^ compared to patients who choose traditional open spine surgery.
For more information about the minimally invasive surgery offered at USA Spine Care, contact our team today. We offer a no-cost MRI review* to help you find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.