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spinal stenosis treatment

spinal stenosis treatment

Spinal stenosis treatment

 Treatment for spinal stenosis depends on the location of the stenosis and the severity of your signs and symptoms.

Talk to your doctor about the treatment that's best for your situation. If your symptoms are mild or you aren't experiencing any, your doctor may monitor your condition with regular follow-up appointments. He or she may offer some self-care tips that you can do at home. If these don't help, he or she may recommend medications or physical therapy. Surgery may be an option if other treatments haven't helped.

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Medical Treatment for spinal stenosis

  • Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for relief.
  • Receiving cortisone injections directly into the spinal column to provide short-term relief.
  • Engaging in exercise and physical therapy that focuses on strengthening the back and abdominal muscles as well as stretching.

If the above treatment options do not ease the pain and your ability to engage in everyday activities is inhibited, you should consider spine surgery.

Exercises for spinal stenosis

Getting regular exercise or trying physical therapy can help strengthen muscles in the back, arms, and legs, leading to improved flexibility, balance, and mobility.

The American College of Rheumatology recommend a minimum of three 30-minute exercise sessions per week for people with spinal stenosis.

These sessions should incorporate flexion-based exercises, which involve bending the lower back forward.

Once a person has strengthened their back, they may incorporate other gentle activities, such as walking or swimming, into their routine.

Surgery for spinal stenosis

If these treatments don't work, your doctor may suggest surgery, especially if:

  • You're in a lot of pain
  • You have trouble walking
  • You can't control your bladder

In fact, your doctor may recommend surgery first if you have severe symptoms. Like other treatments, surgery is not a cure, but it can help with pain and function.

Your doctor may talk to you about these types:

  • Laminectomy. This is the most common one. A doctor takes out the bone, spurs, and ligaments that are putting pressure on the nerves.
  • Spinal fusion. Doctors sometimes do this along with a laminectomy. It involves joining vertebrae together to reduce movement within the spine.
  • Foraminotomy. A doctor expands the portion of the vertebrae where the nerve roots branch out to the rest of the body.

Recovery can be a few days or up to 3 months. Surgery helps many people but there are also risks, such as blood clots.

10 common questions about spinal stenosis treatment

1Can you reverse spinal stenosis?
Q: Can spinal stenosis be reversed? A: While we can't erase this common, painful condition, we have many effective ways to treat it. Spinal stenosis develops over time. ... Often, pain with spinal stenosis occurs when people walk or stand for long periods of time, causing them to curtail their activities
2Is walking good for spinal stenosis?
Walking is a suitable exercise for you if you have spinal stenosis. It is low-impact, and you can easily vary the pace as needed. ... Swimming is also an ideal exercise because it exercises all your back muscles in a safe, supportive environment.
3What can happen if spinal stenosis is left untreated?
If untreated, this can lead to significant and permanent nerve damage including paralysis and death. Myelopathy symptoms may affect one's gait and balance, fine motor skills including dexterity, grip strength, and changes in bowel or bladder function.
4What activities should be avoided with spinal stenosis?
Patients may have less pain by avoiding the higher impact exercise such as jogging, avoiding contact sports, and avoiding long periods of standing or walking.
5Can a chiropractor help spinal stenosis?
I do not know of anything a chiropractor can do for lumbar spinal stenosis other than recommend behavior modification that includes use of flexion exercise and back support for symptomatic relief. ... Spinal manipulation cannot change spinal stenosis and may cause harm.
6Is heat good for spinal stenosis?
Heat Therapy for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Heating over tight muscles in the lower back is often an effective way to achieve relief from spinal stenosis pain, as heating relaxes the muscles. Heating the affected area stimulates blood flow, which promotes and accelerates the healing process.
7What foods help spinal stenosis?
On the contrary, foods high in omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, and in turn reduce pain caused by spinal stenosis. Omega-6: found in dairy products such as cheese, whole milk, and egg yolks. Also found in packaged foods with preservatives
8How do you sleep with spinal stenosis?
Spinal Stenosis. With this condition, it may be preferable to sleep on the sides with the knees curled up (in the fetal position). This helps relieve pressure on the nerve root. Sleeping in a reclining chair or an adjustable bed that allows the head and knees to remain elevated can also relieve pressure on the nerve.
9Does losing weight help spinal stenosis?
If you're overweight or obese, your doctor may recommend that you lose weight. Losing excess weight can reduce pain by taking some stress off the back, particularly the lumbar portion of the spine. Exercising. Flexing, stretching and strengthening exercises may help open up the spine
10What does spinal stenosis look like?
The Symptoms You may not notice any. But if the narrowing puts pressure on your spinal cord or nerve roots, you may have numbness, weakness, cramping, and pain in your arms and legs. In more severe cases, you may have trouble with your bowel, bladder, or having sex

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