Spinal Stenosis Treatment

Spinal Stenosis TreatmentSpinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) is a common condition affecting individuals over the age of 50.

The narrowing of the spaces of the spine—spinal stenosis—is a condition that affects a number of adults over the age of 50; it is a degenerative condition that often is a result of the normal stress of aging. Trauma and certain disorders can also result in this condition in younger adults.

Thankfully, the tingling, burning, numbness or pain in the back, arms, shoulders, legs or even the feet, depending upon the location of the problem, can be reduced by a number of treatment options for spinal stenosis. These range from painkillers to spinal stenosis support products to exercises to a number of surgical methods of treating this condition.

Always consult a professional when deciding how to treat spinal stenosis. He or she can help you decide which spinal stenosis treatment options are best for you based upon the severity of your case, your lifestyle, and health.

Conservative Treatment for Spinal Stenosis

In some mild cases, treatment for stenosis simply involves taking anti-inflammatory pain medication. Along with these  medications, hot and cold therapy can help ease the swelling of your back. Inflammation is to blame for many of the symptoms of spinal stenosis.

If that does not do the trick, a doctor might prescribe a number of other medications for stenosis of the spine treatment, some of which may sound ill-suited for the trouble with the back, such as muscle relaxants, antidepressants or even anti-seizure drugs.

Some find a steroid injection into the spine to be an effective way to treat spinal stenosis. However, there are limits as to how many times such epidural injections can be done over the course of the year.

Physical Therapy for Lumbar, Cervical, & Thoracic Stenosis

Such medications may well be recommended as a supplement to physical therapy exercises and stretches for the abdomen and back muscles. These muscle groupings are highly instrumental in supporting the weight of the upper body and the back. Strengthening them and making sure they maintain their full range of motion can be helpful toward reducing the amount of stress the spine endures. Thus, physical therapy can be especially helpful in terms of spinal stenosis treatment.

Back brace supports add support as you work to improve your abdominal and back strength or while enjoying other physical activities.

These braces are also commonly used to treat spondylolisthesis—a condition that sometimes coincides with or causes spinal stenosis.

Lumbar area of the spine is the most common area for spinal stenosis.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Treatment

Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs in the lower back area of your spine and is the most common area for this condition. The lumbar area consists of five bones that connect with the thoracic spine area.

Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis:

  • Mild to intense lower back pain
  • Weakness in the legs or buttock area
  • Balance and coordination problems
  • Difficulty walking, standing, or bending over
  • Burning, tingling, numbness in your lower back, buttocks, and legs
  • Cramping in your legs after standing or walking for long periods
  • Bladder or bowel issues (severe case)

A low-back brace can be helpful for treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis simply by wearing it over the course of your day. But few wish to wear a bulky back brace day-in and day-out. BraceAbility makes wearing a support belt or brace much more pleasant with its selection of low-profile, comfortable and discreet back brace supports which can be worn under clothing. 

Consider, for instance, the Cybertech 8" Flex Plus Low Profile Back Brace molds to your frame so that you hardly notices it is wrapped around your waist. The eight-inch version is also a bit lighter for even more user comfort during treatment for lumbar stenosis.

Another simple, lightweight spinal stenosis brace for the low-back is the Cybertech SPINE Lower Back Brace. This is often picked as the best treatment for spinal stenosis as it is effective as well as reasonably priced. 

In addition, the Hyper-X Plus TLSO Brace is another brace that is ideal as treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis and thoracic stenosis. This support uses a three-point pressure system to extend or hyperextend the spine in the interest of immobilizing and stabilizing the spine.

Thoracic spinal stenosis is a rare degenerative condition. Thoracic Spinal Stenosis Treatment

The least common type of spinal stenosis, thoracic spinal stenosis is a rare degenerative condition resulting in the spinal canal in the middle back area to become narrow. 

Symptoms of thoracic spinal stenosis:

  • Altered sensation in the lower body
  • Pain or burning sensation in the thighs and calves
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness
  • Pain worsens with movement
  • Pain is contained and focused in one area, it doesn’t radiate anywhere else

Although this condition is rare for this area, BraceAbility offers multiple products to help ease your pain in the thoracic region. The hyperextension back brace can help apply pressure to the sternum, pubic and mid back area, preventing thoracic flexion and movement.

Another great treatment option for this condition is the LSO spine stabilizer for your mid to lower back. One of the braces key features is the mechanical advantage pulley system, making application effortless. This brace also is breathable and light, for extra comfort.

Cervical spinal stenosis is the second most common area for spinal stenosis.

Cervical Spinal Stenosis Treatment

Cervical spinal stenosis refers to stenosis in the upper region of the spine in the neck vicinity. (Stenosis is most common in the lumbar part of the spine.) BraceAbility also offers several cervical spinal stenosis treatment option orthotics.

Symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis:

  • Mild to intense neck pain
  • Weakness in the neck or upper back area
  • Hand clumsiness
  • Burning, tingling, numbness in your neck, shoulders, arms, and hands (tingling in the hand is the most common symptom)
  • Bladder or bowel issues (severe case)

The Cybertech Mini Minerva brace is a throacolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO) that supports the spine and prevents any movement that would cause additional pain or damage to the back. This heavy-duty back brace for spinal stenosis does not sacrifice comfort, it leaves the arms and torso completely free from constraint while immobilizing the spine.

A similar product is another Minerva Orthosis brace. As indicated by its name, this orthotic treatment for stenosis of the spine is also well suited for thoracic spinal stenosis as well. It immobilizes both the cervical and thoracic area.

These halo back/neck braces immobilize the cervical and upper region of the thoracic spine, which can be useful in treatment for thoracic or cervical spine stenosis treatment along with arthritis and fractures in this part of the neck.

Alternative Treatment for Spinal Stenosis

While the success of spinal stenosis alternative treatment is not widely tested, some do find such methods helpful. One of these is chiropractic treatment for spinal stenosis. Some have also gained some symptom relief from procedures such as acupuncture or even engaging in yoga or pilates. These approaches might be pursued alone or in addition to more traditional modes of treatment.

Surgical Treatment for Spinal Stenosis

When your quality of life is compromised and conservative methods fail, surgery may be necessary for severe spinal stenosis treatment. Thankfully, there are multiple surgery options available for this condition such as laminectomy, foraminotomy, and spinal fusion. 

There is no concrete answer as to what is the best treatment for spinal stenosis, that is something that varies from person to person. Thus, you and your doctor must take into account quality of life, general health, cost and other factors when making a decision as to which of the many treatments for spinal stenosis you will pursue. 

Want to learn more about the different causes, symptoms, and exercises for spinal stenosis? Read more here.