Managing spinal stenosis and back pain caused by spinal narrowing
Many people have to live with spinal stenosis and back pain or leg pain, with lumbar (lower) spinal stenosis being the source of this pain in a large number of cases. Back pain related to spinal stenosis, or spinal narrowing, can begin to affect every part of your life, from work to getting a good night’s sleep.
The good news is that there are many treatment options available that can return you to a good quality of life. By learning more about the causes and ways to manage back pain caused by spinal narrowing, you can give yourself a better chance of developing a successful treatment plan with your doctor.
How does spinal stenosis cause back pain?
Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the spine’s nerve passages, usually because of age-related degeneration of spinal anatomy. As this happens, the spinal nerves can become compressed. When these sensitive areas are pressed upon in the lumbar spine, they can trigger painful sensations in the back and lower body.
In many cases, spinal stenosis-related back pain is limited to the lower portion of the back. However, the pain can extend higher up the back, or it can radiate down through the hips and legs.
Not all patients with spinal stenosis will experience back pain. However, those who do experience discomfort often find that it can worsen over time. Because of this, it is important for patients to develop an effective pain management plan with the guidance of their doctor.
How can patients manage spinal stenosis-related back pain?
Patients have several options for managing spinal stenosis-related back pain. Initial treatments are usually conservative in nature. For example:
Physical therapy can help patients strengthen their back and abdominal muscles. It is important to work with a licensed, professional physical therapist who can show you how to safely perform exercises.
Medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, can help keep pain to a minimum. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medications can both play a role in back pain management. Work with your doctor to find the right type of medication and dosage level for your needs.
Back braces can help support the spine. While this is a short-term solution, it can provide relief, especially for people performing physical activity or labor.
Surgery can become an option if weeks or months of these and other treatments do not provide you with needed relief. For those concerned about the risk of complication and the highly invasive nature of traditional open back procedures, USA Spine Care offers minimally invasive spine surgery as a safer and effective alternative.^
To learn more about minimally invasive, outpatient surgeries that address spinal stenosis and back pain, contact USA Spine Care today. Our team can review your MRI at no cost* and let you know if you are a potential candidate for our procedures.
Learn more today
If you're living with spinal stenosis in the upper spine and searching for relief, reach out to USA Spine Care for help. Our multidisciplinary team is dedicated to helping people develop the right care plan to reach treatment goals and achieve lasting relief.
Patients can expect recovery to last 4-6 weeks in most cases (depending on the complexity of your condition). People who choose minimally invasive spine surgery recover faster and get back to work sooner than those who choose open back surgery. Read more in the links below: Recovery After a ProcedureWhat to ExpectRecovery Times
Problems from anesthesia.
A deep infection in the surgical wound.
A skin infection.
Nerve injury, including weakness, numbness, or paralysis.
Tears in the fibrous tissue that covers the spinal cord and the nerve near the spinal cord. These tears may require more surgery.
Trouble passing urine, or loss of bladder or bowel control.
Long-term (chronic) pain, which happens after surgery in some cases.
The chance that the surgery won't relieve your symptoms. And even if you get better with surgery, there is a chance that you may get new symptoms in the future.
Death from problems caused by surgery, but this is rare.
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^Results are typical, but not guaranteed, each patients experience with spine surgery will differ.
For more information, visit usaspinecare.com/results. The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to serve as a replacement for a medical diagnosis.
*Our MRI review is an informational review of the MRI report that you provide to us and is not a form of diagnosis. A diagnosis and a final determination of whether you may benefit from treatment at USA Spine Care can only be made after you have been physically examined by our medical professionals at USA Spine Care. The MRI review has no value and will not be billed.