Choosing the Best Treatment for Spinal Stenosis
Along with routine exercise, spinal stenosis is also treated with over-the-counter and prescription medications — most commonly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, Aleve and Ibuprofen — to help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
Your physician may also recommend corticosteroid or nerve block injections to minimize swelling and discomfort at the site. Injections provoke different responses in each patient. Some may have only short-term relief or none at all, and others may experience reduced symptoms over a longer period of time.
Alternative Spinal Stenosis Treatments
Alternative therapies can be a great way to diversify your treatment options and help you cope with the pain associated with spinal stenosis. The most common alternative treatments for spinal stenosis are:
- Chiropractic care
- Exercise routines with yoga or tai chi
Undergoing surgery is the most extreme treatment option for spinal stenosis and is only recommended by your doctor if you’re in a lot of pain, have difficulty walking, or can no longer properly control your bladder. Surgery will not cure spinal stenosis, but it can help alleviate pain and restore your normal functionality. The most common types of surgery to treat spinal stenosis include:
- Foraminotomy: During a foraminotomy, the doctor will expand the portion of the vertebrae where the nerve roots extend to the rest of your body.
- Laminectomy: A laminectomy is the most common type of surgery for spinal stenosis, which involves the doctor removing the bone, spurs and ligaments that are applying pressure to the nerves.
- Spinal Fusion: Spinal fusions are often performed at the same time as a laminectomy. This procedure joins the vertebrae together to reduce spine movement.
- MILD® Procedure: This minimally invasive lumbar decompression treatment prevents instability and offers a faster recovery than traditional fusion surgery.
- Vertiflex® Spine Treatment: During this alternative to more invasive surgeries, a titanium decompression spacer is implanted between the vertebrae to relieve pressure.
Many patients wish to alleviate back pain from spinal stenosis without undergoing major surgery. In the case that traditional and alternative treatments don’t offer relief, endoscopic laminotomy provides a minimally invasive alternative to surgical laminectomy.
In this outpatient procedure, a doctor will make a small incision and use a guide wire to facilitate decompression of the spine, which removes pressure from the nerves to relieve symptoms. Though endoscopic laminotomy produces similar results to spinal surgery, the procedure takes less time and has an easier recovery period, resulting in less reported pain and disability after the procedure, both in the short and long terms. When you choose to treat spinal stenosis using endoscopic laminotomy, you’ll usually be able to go home the same day as the procedure.
Endoscopic laminotomy comes with many benefits, which is why we offer this innovative treatment at Spine Institute of North America.
If You’re Experiencing Back Pain, Contact Spine Institute of North America
You should never have to live with uncomfortable back pain that prevents you from enjoying your favorite activities. Reach out to the compassionate and helpful medical professionals at Spine Institute of North America. We can help you diagnose the cause of your pain and work closely with you to find appropriate treatment options that work best with your lifestyle and overall needs.
To learn more about our practice, or how spinal stenosis may be affecting you, call us today at 609-371-9100 or complete our online contact form. We happily provide help and guidance for residents throughout East Windsor, Marlton and East Brunswick, NJ.
This content was medically reviewed by Baher Yanni, M.D, on August 5th, 2019.