Canal stenosis treatment is not necessarily synonymous with surgery. This condition, which is commonly associated with age-related degeneration, occurs when the already limited space within the spinal canal is further narrowed by excess tissue, such as a bone spur, inflamed ligament or herniated disc. Sometimes, this creates painful pressure on the spinal cord or a nerve root. However, when no nerve compression is present, spinal stenosis may not require treatment or even cause any discomfort.
Of the people who do experience symptoms, many see a marked improvement after using conservative treatment options, such as over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, even for a relatively short period of time. There are many nonsurgical treatment options for canal stenosis. If you are interested in taking the most natural approach possible — which is quite understandable — you should express your preference to your physician. He or she can take this into account when recommending the best course of action for you.
Natural treatment options
As part of your natural canal stenosis treatment plan, your physician may suggest that you begin with one or more of the following:
- Targeted stretches
- Low-impact exercise, such as walking or swimming, performed for 30 minutes daily
- Postural improvement
- Hot and cold compresses
- Lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation and weight loss, if applicable
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Massage therapy
Regardless of which options you choose, however, you’ll need to keep in mind that effective canal stenosis treatment requires a long-term commitment and ongoing refinement. Also, treatments that work very well for some people may be completely ineffective for others. Therefore, it may take a bit of experimentation to find the best approach for you, and it’s important that you don’t become discouraged along the way.
More advanced treatments
If you’re still experiencing pain after having exhausted all of your natural treatment options, you might want to think about medications, injections or even surgery. As you explore your surgical options, remember that you might have a safer and effective alternative to highly invasive open spine surgery, such as the minimally invasive outpatient procedures performed at USA Spine Care.^ To find out if you’re a candidate, contact us today.