Top 5 Conservative Remedies for Spinal Stenosis

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the passageway where a nerve root exits the spine becomes too narrow and compresses the nerve. This leads to a “pinching” of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots and can become a very painful back condition affecting everyday life.

Nerve compression can be caused by bone spurs, bulging discs or thickened tissue. It is most often due to age and injury. Many times it can be treated with conservative remedies for spinal stenosis.

Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

The most commonspinal stenosis symptoms includes a sharp pain that radiates down the leg, as well as cramping, weakness or numbness.

spinal stenosis treatment

Spinal stenosis is usually diagnosed by a neurosurgeon, orthopedic specialist or pain management physician. The diagnosis is usually based on symptoms, medical history, a physical examination and test results.

How to Relieve Spinal Stenosis

Exercise– Engaging in a regular, doctor-approved exercise program can help take the pressure off the pinched spinal nerves and adjust the position of the spine. If done correctly, exercise may alleviate the pain. 

A common exercise sufferers can do at home to reduce pain is standing lumbar flexion. To do the exercise, stand with feet apart and slowly bend forward, reaching toward the floor. When the back is fully bent for 2 to 3 seconds, slowly return to the upright standing position.Whenever you feel increased back pain or leg tingling, simply repeat this exercise a few times to help alleviate your symptoms.

Medications for Spinal Stenosis – A doctor may prescribe oral medicines such as NSAIDS, antidepressants, anti-seizure, and opioid painkillers. Over-the-counter pain relievers might provide temporary relief but they are not usually recommended long-term. Opioids are effective for very short-term relief of acute pain, but they have well-known dangerous side effects including addiction, brain and liver damage, constipation and depression.

A board-certified pain management specialist can treat the pain directly with nerve blocks and cortisone injections. Theseconservative remedies for spinal stenosis can provide long-term relief.

Physical Therapy for Spinal Stenosis – Many people with spinal stenosis attempt to reduce the pain by reducing their movement. This can actually lead to more pain due to the weakening of the muscles. Physical therapy can help relieve pain by helping patients stay active and move correctly. Physical therapists work with patients on proper movement and lifting techniques, which are major contributors to lower back pain.

Massage Therapy or Chiropractic Care – Spinal adjustment can help return the vertebrae to a more optimal position and increase range of motion. This may relieve symptoms such as pain, muscle spasms, or tightness. Effects are temporary and readjustment must be done regularly.

stenosis of the spine

Holistic Therapies – Some patients find it helpful to not only treat the affected area, but the body as a whole. To do this, some look toward acupuncture, acupressure, yoga, nutrition and diet changes, meditation and biofeedback to reduce their symptoms and improve their overall health.

Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures for Spinal Stenosis

If conservative remedies for spinal stenosis don’t prove effective, surgical treatment for severely compressed nerveshas come a long way from traditional open back surgery.Small-incision outpatient procedures have proven effective for relieving spinal stenosis quickly. This technique allows patient to walk out the same day and recover in days or weeks instead of months.

Spinal stenosis can severely impact quality of life. Treating it early is the key to a full recovery. Physician Partners of America offers both conservative pain management and procedural options that offer customized relief for spinal stenosis.

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