Spinal Stenosis Treatment

Treatment of Spinal Stenosis

Get an in-depth look into the most effective spinal stenosis treatment options available and how J. Flowers Health can help.

Table of Contents

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Pain is an ever-present reality across the world. Still, the impact of pain and pain management on society seems largely underemphasized. According to a study, up to 25.3 million adults in the United States reported experiencing chronic (daily) pain, and nearly forty million reported experiencing severe levels of pain.1

There are several types of pain, depending on where it occurs and the causative factors. One not-so-popular yet very severe pain type is spinal stenosis. So, what exactly is spinal stenosis pain, and why is it so important?

A Closer Look

Spinal stenosis, also known as stenosis of the spine or central spinal stenosis, is a disorder in which the spinal cord gaps become narrow, resulting in spinal cord compression. Stenosis of the spine is a chronic disorder that can develop at any point along the spinal cord.

Statistics on Spinal Stenosis

Severe or degenerative spinal stenosis occurs when stenosis of the spine develops over a long period without treatment. Research suggests that the prevalence of degenerative spinal stenosis ranges between 1.7% and 13.1% of the population.2
It is important to note that the symptoms accompanying spinal stenosis in the back or spinal stenosis in the neck may be mild if the spinal cord compression is minimal. However, too much compression will result in severe stenosis and serious side effects.

Where Does Spinal Stenosis Occur?

Spinal stenosis can develop anywhere along the spinal cord, so it is possible to have spinal stenosis in neck (cervical spinal stenosis), stenosis in back, and spinal lumbar stenosis (lower back stenosis). Spinal lumbar stenosis causes symptoms like lower back pain and weakness in the legs.

Causes of Spinal Stenosis

Before effectively relieving spinal stenosis pain, it is essential to know the spinal stenosis causes. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, spine degeneration is observed in over 95% of people over the age of fifty, with spinal stenosis occurring most often in adults sixty and above.3

Age is a significant cause of spinal stenosis (degenerative spinal stenosis). As individuals grow older, the tissue and bones in their spine gradually increase in thickness, resulting in spinal nerve compression.

Additional Causes

Other spinal stenosis causes include:
  • Overgrowth of bone
  • Herniated disks
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Tumors
  • Spinal injuries

Progression of Spinal Stenosis

Several health complications usually accompany spinal stenosis progression. Aside from focusing on these complications during treatment for preventive purposes, complications may also indicate the presence of lumbar or cervical spinal stenosis. The complications include:
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Balance problems
  • Incontinence
  • Paralysis
Treatment of spinal stenosis

Treatment of Spinal Stenosis

Several therapies and treatment methods for spinal stenosis are available that halt progression and relieve spinal stenosis pain and complications. Effective spinal stenosis treatment should adequately take care of the spinal stenosis condition by carefully focusing on the various difficulties and symptoms.

Treatment Opportunities

Spinal stenosis treatment options usually include the following:
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercises
  • Injections
  • Medications
  • Surgery
  • Holistic treatment

Physical Therapy for Spinal Stenosis

Physical therapy plays a very important role in the prevention and management of spinal stenosis. Regular exercise can assist in building stronger arm, leg, and back muscles, increase flexibility, balance, and mobility, and boost overall fitness.
The American College of Rheumatology recommends a minimum of three thirty-minute exercise sessions each week for those with spinal stenosis. These exercise sessions should primarily contain workouts that involve bending the lower back forward.4

Spinal Stenosis Exercises

Exercises that alleviate mild to moderate spinal stenosis pain can include:
  • Back stretches
  • Knee to chest
  • Knee hugs
  • Lower back rotational stretches
  • Draw-in maneuvers

Spinal Stenosis Medications

Pain relievers, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can be used to treat spinal stenosis. People can use these medications to take care of mild-moderate spinal stenosis effectively. Stronger medications like opioids are commonly prescribed to treat more severe cases of spinal stenosis. Other medicines used in pain management for spinal stenosis include the following:
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-seizure drugs

Injections for Spinal Stenosis

Medical professionals can prescribe corticosteroid injections like cortisone to manage spinal sclerosis. These corticosteroid drugs have powerful anti-inflammatory effects that significantly reduce spinal tissue inflammation and pain. They are injected directly into the spinal stenosis-affected region.
Nerve blocks are another type of injection administered directly to the affected area, effectively blocking painful nerve signals to the brain.
Nonetheless, care should be taken with corticosteroids because although they are powerful anti-inflammatory agents, they suppress the immune system. In addition, these injections may elicit several other undesirable adverse effects, so physicians recommend corticosteroid Injections no more than three times a year.

Surgery for Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis with severe spinal compression is usually treated with surgery to remove bone growths and inflamed tissues that may be responsible for the spinal nerve compression. This can free up space for the nerves and the spinal cord, allowing relief and reduced pain. The various types of surgery for spinal stenosis include:
  • Laminectomy
  • Laminotomy
  • Laminoplasty

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery is the safest surgery option for treating spinal stenosis. In this procedure, a doctor guides a very small camera and other surgical instruments into the body via a small incision. This surgical method is less damaging to the muscles and soft tissues and carries the least chance of infection.

Alternative Treatments for Spinal Stenosis

In addition to the conventional methods for treating spinal stenosis, a couple of alternative treatment options are available that have managed spinal stenosis with some measure of success. Some of these alternative treatments for spinal sclerosis are:
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Acupuncture

Get Help With Spinal Stenosis Treatment at J. Flowers Health Institute

Do you have spinal stenosis and are looking for an effective treatment and management option? If you are, then J Flowers is the perfect option for you. At J. Flowers Health Institute, patients have access to a comprehensive suite of treatment options designed with an uncompromising approach to provide whole-person health and wellness. Reach out to us today and have access to a seamless, extraordinary care experience!