Spinal stenosis refers to narrowing of the spinal canal and spinal nerve passageways due to osteoarthritis and other changes in the spine with age and use. This narrowing can compress the spinal nerve roots causing pain, numbness, and muscle weakness.
At Dignity Health North State, our spinal stenosis treatments aim to reduce pain, improve motor and sensory function, manage other symptoms, and remove pressure from the spinal nerves. Treatment for spinal stenosis usually follows a few steps: physical therapy, medications, injections, and, lastly, surgery.
Get personalized spinal stenosis treatment in Northern California from one of our trusted neurologists or neurosurgeons. Find a Doctor online and talk to us about the care with humankindness you’ll receive throughout every part of your treatment.
Physical Therapy for Spinal Stenosis
Physical therapy can’t directly improve arthritis or impact narrowing of the spine. However, it can strengthen the muscles that support your spine. Strengthening exercises can help you to maintain good posture, which takes pressure off the spinal nerves to alleviate back pain and neck pain.
Medications for Spinal Stenosis
Your doctor may recommend medications to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain caused by osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis. Medications for spinal stenosis may include:
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications (ibuprofen or naproxen)
- Prescription anti-inflammatory medications including methylprednisolone
- Narcotic pain relievers
- Muscle relaxants
Spinal Injections for Spinal Stenosis
If your spinal stenosis symptoms do not respond to physical therapy or medications, your doctor may suggest spinal injections. In this procedure, your doctor injects a dose of corticosteroid combined with numbing medicine into a small space next to your spinal cord. Spinal injections can relieve pain for weeks or even months.
Spinal Stenosis Surgery
When other spinal stenosis treatments don’t control back pain, neck pain, and other spinal stenosis symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery to reduce pressure on the spinal nerves. These procedures include:
- Laminectomy (decompression surgery): Lamina (part of the bone on the back of your vertebra) are removed to create space in the spinal canal
- Discectomy: Surgical removal of all or part of a damaged herniated disc in your spine
- Foraminotomy: Surgery that opens the spinal canal, often by shaving off surrounding bone
- Spinal fusion: Permanently connecting two or more bones in the spine, so there is no more movement between them
Other Spinal Stenosis Treatments at Dignity Health North State
All therapies, even medications, have some risks. That makes it important to discuss all spinal stenosis treatments and your treatment goals with your doctor. Treatment for spinal stenosis is a very personal decision that depends on the severity of your symptoms and your overall health.
Doctors at Dignity Health North State will work with you to create a treatment plan that takes into consideration your physical, mental, and spiritual needs.
Dignity Health North State offers personalized spinal stenosis treatments for patients with spinal stenosis in Red Bluff and Redding, CA.