Lumbar spinal stenosis develops when one to three areas of the spine become narrower that results in pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots. Possible symptoms include pain or numbness in the legs. Although the condition is most common in men and women over 50 years of age, it can occur in younger people who have a congenital narrowing of the spinal canal or who suffer an injury to the spine.
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of spaces in the lumbar region of the spine
Spinal Stenosis Treatment
There are both surgical and nonsurgical options to treat spinal stenosis. Common nonsurgical options include analgesics, injections, and physical therapy. If there is no severe or progressive nerve involvement, a doctor may prescribe one of these methods. However, if nonsurgical treatment does not work to relieve pain, minimally invasive procedures like mild or surgery may be recommended instead, especially if there is numbness that interferes with walking.
Treating Spinal Stenosis Through Nonsurgical and Minimally Invasive Methods:
In the absence of severe or progressive nerve involvement, a doctor may prescribe one or more of the following spinal stenosis treatments:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Analgesics to relieve pain.
- Corticosteroid injections into the outermost of the membranes covering the spinal cord and nerve roots to reduce inflammation and treat acute pain that radiates to the hips or down a leg.
- Anesthetic injections, known as nerve blocks, near the affected nerve to temporarily relieve pain.
- Restricted activity (varies depending on extent of nerve involvement).
- Prescribed exercises and/or physical therapy to maintain motion of the spine, strengthen abdominal and back muscles, and build endurance -- all of which help stabilize the spine. Some patients may be encouraged to try slowly progressive aerobic activity, such as swimming or using exercise bicycles.
- A lumbar brace to provide some support and help regain mobility. This approach is sometimes used for patients with weak abdominal muscles or older patients with degeneration at several levels of the spine.
- Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression or Mild procedure which is a minimally invasive procedure that provides thousands of patients with relief and they are walking out of the procedure the same day. MILD© effectively addresses the underlying cause of pain and immobility in patients with LSS.
For more information on treating LSS, contact Franklin Pain and Wellness Center.