Spinal Stenosis Treatment Options
Your spine is an amazing combination of bones, ligaments, disks, joints and nerves all working in unison so you can walk, jump, bend, run, dance, turn, twist and move around. Under ideal conditions all the parts of the spine work together without any problems or causing discomfort. But for people with spinal stenosis, pain or leg cramping can become a frequent occurrence.
Although there is no cure for spinal stenosis, different treatments are available. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and pain. Analgesics like acetaminophen can be taken to treat pain. Non-prescription supplements including chondrotin sulfate and glucosamine have shown to have positive effects on spinal stenosis, but may interfere with other medications. Physical therapy can help build strength, increase endurance, and maintain spinal flexibility. Wearing a brace or corset may be recommended for people with weak abdominal muscles. Epidural steroid injections may provide significant relief for leg pain.
When non-surgical treatments are no longer effective, surgery may be necessary. During a decompression laminectomy, bone spurs that have built up in the spinal canal are removed, making more room for nerves and the spinal cord. In some cases, a spinal fusion procedure may be performed concurrently to provide more spinal support; or the surgery may be performed on its own. Symptoms may recur or worsen over time because surgery does not halt the degenerative process of spinal stenosis.