Spinal stenosis treatment can help alleviate this very painful and often age related condition. There are some ways to alleviate the pain with non-surgical treatments although in some cases the only spinal stenosis treatment is surgical. Understanding the different options available is key.
What is Spinal Stenosis?
When a one or more areas in the spine narrows, pressure is put on the spinal cord and nerves causing lower back pain, leg tingling and numbness, weakness, and/or limitations in walking. There are two different types of spinal stenosis, which are lumbar stenosis and cervical stenosis. Lumbar stenosis is located in the lower back and more common and less critical although still bothersome to one diagnosed with it. Cervical stenosis is a literal pain in the neck, where the narrowing compresses on the spinal cord. This can lead to intense weakness on the majority of the body and/or paralysis.
Depending on the type and severity of the injury and ailment, different spinal stenosis treatments may be decided upon. Exercise, activity modification, epidural injections are three less invasive treatments available. Anti inflammatory medications can also help with the swelling, decreasing the pain.
- Exercise- with the aid of a physical therapist flexing and stretching exercises are given relieving the pressure and increasing the size of the nerve passageways. Strengthening the lower back muscles also helps take away the pain.
- Activity modification- changing the way a person sits or walks alleviates the pain and also learning to stay away from activities and actions that trigger undesirable stenosis pain.
- Epidural injections- usually a set of three shots of cortisone in 50% of cases can alleviate the pain caused by spinal stenosis.
Although these treatments will not fix the compression problem they can ease the pain and discomfort for one suffering with spinal stenosis.
Surgery may be the only way to permanently fix the problem of spinal stenosis. The deciding factor in choosing to have or not to have the surgery depends on the level of physical disability of the patient and the severity of the pain. The surgical procedure is primarily intended to improve a person’s activity and help them continue in life with less pain.
Understanding the differences is important to decide which spinal stenosis treatment would be best for the patient. South Texas Spinal Clinic has qualified physicians and surgeons who can diagnose, prescribe treatments, and perform surgeries if needed. One can feel confident and receive the help and relief they need to ease the pain from spinal stenosis.