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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.

Contact us today to learn more. Call toll free 1-866-249-1627.

Spinal Stenosis "Quick Answers"

Depending on the region and severity Spinal stenosis feels like tingling, burning and/or weakness in the hands, arms, neck, lower back or legs. It may also feel like a radiating pain or shooting shock-like pain. Read more in the links below: Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis Overview Defining Spinal Stenosis Researching Spinal Stenosis Learning About Back Stenosis Spinal Stenosis Pathophysiology
The types of spinal stenosis are region based and consist of cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back) and lumbar or lower back. In addition, foraminal stenosis is the narrowing of the foramen. Read more in the links below: Spinal Stenosis of the Neck Cervical Stenosis - Basic Facts Neck Stenosis Causes Neck Stenosis Treatment Central Canal Stenosis Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis in the Back
Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal. This condition, most often located in the Lumbar spine, may be caused by degeneration of the spine, wear and tear, sports injury, & collapsing discs. Read more in the links below. What Causes Spinal Stenosis? Obesity May Lead to a Stenosis Diagnosis Age and its Role in the Development of Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis Causes Identifying Common Causes From Birth Defects to Getting Older Degenerative Conditions Car Accident Injuries
The symptoms of spinal stenosis include tingling or numbness in the extremities, pain and weakness in the neck, back and/or legs. In severe cases bladder, bowel dysfunction/continence. Learn more in the links below: What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis? Spinal Stenosis Symptoms Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis What Should I Do If I Think I Have Spinal Stenosis? Spinal Stenosis and Hand Pain Recognizing Spinal Stenosis Have You Been Diagnosed? About Your Diagnosis Diagnostic Process Helping Your Physician How a Diagnosis Is Made Arriving at a Diagnosis
Physician specialties that treat spinal stenosis include: Pain management & rehabilitation physicians, spine surgeons, orthopedic specialists & neurosurgeons. Read more about these specialties in the links below: Doctors Who Treat Spinal Stenosis Spinal Decompression Doctors
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 Procedure What to Expect Recovery Times

  • Problems from anesthesia.
  • A deep infection in the surgical wound.
  • A skin infection.
  • Blood clots.
  • 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.

Read more in the links below: Overview of Risk Factors Most Common Risk Factors Obesity & Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis & Arthritis Treating Elderly Patients

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