Lumbar spinal stenosis is a medical condition that affects about 11 percent of older adults in the US. It refers to the gradual narrowing of the spine that can leave people in pain.
According to reports, nearly 20 percent of people above the age of 60 have evidence of spinal stenosis and over 80 percent do not report any symptoms and never seek treatment. However, if your condition is serious, you may notice symptoms such as back pain and numbness. In such a situation, you will have to find USA doctors who treat spinal stenosis and choose a reliable treatment option.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition and treatment involves reducing symptoms such as pain and numbness. Some doctors recommend surgery, which is an effective method to treat spinal stenosis, but it isn’t the only option as it is possible to treat the condition without undergoing surgery.
Let’s now have a look at some non surgical ways to treat the condition.
Non Surgical Ways To Treat Spinal Stenosis
We understand why you may not wish to go for surgery. Most people are scared of surgeries. Plus, they’re very expensive. Don’t worry because there are some affordable and safer alternatives to spinal stenosis surgery. We have covered them all; however, before we start, let us add that not all of these methods may be suitable for you and some may be more effective than others.
Medication is one of the most popular methods to treat spinal stenosis. Your doctor may recommend a variety of drugs, based on your condition, medical history, and other such factors. Some of the most commonly used drugs to treat the condition include:
- Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, more popularly known as NSAIDs, are known to be effective at alleviating pain by reducing inflammation of the roots and joints resulting in more space in the spinal canal. NSAIDs are typically available without a prescription and include popular names like ibuprofen and aspirin. However, your doctor may also offer some prescription NSAIDs if OTC medicines fail to provide relief.
- Corticosteroids – Corticosteroids reduce pain by reducing irritation and swelling. Though very effective, these medicines usually have to be taken for five or more days to get results. Your doctor will typically ask you to revisit after a week to check your symptoms.
- Neuroleptics – Neuroleptics are used to reduce leg or arm pain due to spinal issues. These drugs stabilize overactive neurons and reduce nerve compression.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
Physical therapy can be a great way to treat back issues, including spinal stenosis. Your doctor will typically ask you to visit a professional and receive physical therapy for a few weeks. However, therapy alone may not be enough, especially if you are in pain, and is typically combined with other treatment methods such as drugs.
Therapy is designed to strengthen your muscles and make you more flexible. Moreover, it helps improve posture and can be effective in reducing nerve compression in the lumbar spine. Still, you have to be very careful when performing exercises as not all exercises may be suitable for you and some might worsen the condition.
Here are some of the best exercises for spinal stenosis:
Designed to strengthen the lower back, this can be a great exercise to stretch your muscles and reduce pain. Here’s how to perform it:
How to perform a pelvic tilt:
- Lie straight on the floor and ensure your feet remain flat on the floor.
- Exhale slowly contracting your abdominal muscles while simultaneously flattering your low back and concentrating on your belly button pushing it toward the floor.
- Stay in this position for 5 seconds.
- Repeat this exercise 8-10 times.
Knee to Chest
One of the easiest exercises to perform, this maneuver helps reduce nerve pressure. Here’s how to perform it:
- Lie straight on the floor.
- Pick your right knee and bring it toward your chest.
- Use your hands to pull the leg in as far as you can without discomfort.
- Hold this position for 8-10 seconds.
- Place your leg on the floor and repeat the same move with the other leg.
- Repeat this 5-6 times.
These exercises can be a great way to open up the spinal canal. Still, we suggest that you visit a professional to ensure that these exercises are safe for you to try. Also, remember that you may not get immediate relief from this method.
Reduce Weight and Work on Your Posture
Poor posture is linked to back pain so work on your posture. Stand correctly, sit properly, and bend carefully. Also, make sure to stay healthy and lose weight if you are overweight.
Your back has to handle most of your weight and being overweight can put excessive pressure on it. Losing weight can be an easy way of reducing this pressure and feeling better.
This technique can be used to treat spinal stenosis. It involves off or ablating part of your nerve to stop it from sending pain signals to your brain. This method is popular for offering long-term benefits as relief typically lasts for years.
Your doctor may suggest epidural steroid injections to treat the condition as they are very effective in offering pain relief. However, this is a very expensive method and the cost is typically not covered by insurance, which is why people don’t typically go for steroid injections.
These injections consist of a local anesthesia and anti-inflammatory steroids that help reduce pain immediately. On the plus side, the effects last for a good number of years and there are no major side effects.
The last option on our list is DRX9000, also known as non-surgical decompression. This method is only used in less serious cases as it is not effective in very serious situations. The method involves gently stretching the spine for pain relief.
Ready for treatment? Get in touch with us today to know more about how we can help you.