Your spine plays an essential role in providing passage for the spinal cord, which is an integral part of our central nervous system. However, some people suffer from spinal stenosis, a condition characterized by narrowing of the spinal canal. That can lead to back pain, neck pain, numbness, tingling sensation in the extremities, muscle weakness, and other problems.
Treatment for spinal stenosis includes surgical and non-surgical options depending on the severity of the condition and the cause. Read on to discover the possible spinal stenosis treatments and where you can receive the best care for this condition.
What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?
The spinal canal narrowing usually happens gradually, and the symptoms may not appear at first. In addition, symptoms may come and go, depending on the affected area. Spinal stenosis most commonly affects the lumbar (lower back) or cervical (neck) part of the spine.
The most common symptoms of spinal stenosis are:
- Lower back pain
- Pain that radiates from the lower back, through the buttocks, down the legs
- Weakness in the arm or legs
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Frequent cramps
- Balance problems
- Coordination issues
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
Some people are born with a small spinal canal or spinal deformities, triggering congenital spinal stenosis. However, most cases occur due to an injury or medical condition like:
- Bone overgrowth
- Herniated disc
- Thickened ligaments
- Spinal injuries
- Tumors or cysts
How Is Spinal Stenosis Treated?
Most cases of spinal stenosis can be treated with a combination of non-surgical approaches and lifestyle adjustments. That includes medications, physical therapy, exercise, and alternative measures.
If you have problems with pain caused by spinal stenosis, your doctor may prescribe pain relievers, antidepressants, opioids, or anti-seizure drugs. These medications eliminate current discomfort and offer short or long-term pain relief.
If your nerve roots become particularly irritated or swollen, your doctor may prescribe steroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain. However, you can only get them a few times a year, as more frequent use can damage nearby bones and tissues.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
People with spinal stenosis may experience pain, stiffness, and lack of flexibility, causing them to become less active. As a result, their muscles become weaker, leading to more pain. That’s why physical therapy is often a part of a spinal stenosis treatment, and it can improve flexibility, strengthen muscles, improve balance, and build endurance.
In addition, your doctor may prescribe a series of exercises and stretches you can do at home to keep active.
If other non-invasive treatments don’t work, and you experience excruciating pain, trouble walking, and bladder or bowel control loss, your doctor may recommend surgery. In fact, they may recommend it right away if your symptoms are severe.
There are several different types of surgical procedures used to manage spinal stenosis symptoms. The goal is to reduce pressure off of nerves and reduce pain and inflammation.
Where to Get Spinal Stenosis Treatment?
Space City Pain Specialists is a place where you can get the most advanced treatments for spinal stenosis. We use a Mild® procedure, which is a safe and effective way to treat this condition. Click here to learn more about Mild® and schedule an appointment with one of our experts to see if you are a good fit for the procedure.