Spinal stenosis causes pressure on your spine which occurs from a narrowing of the spaces within it. The condition is most commonly caused by wear and tear on the spine from aging, although it can also onset from a traumatic event. In either case, it can cause major problems if not handled correctly.
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
Stenosis can occur anywhere along the spine (most commonly in the neck and lower back). Some people afflicted with the condition experience no symptoms, but once it blossoms, you are likely to experience issues ranging from general pain or numbness to muscle weakness and even problems with bladder or bowel functionality.
Understanding The Risks Of Surgery
In many cases, doctors will immediately tell you that the only way to get a handle on spinal stenosis is with a surgical procedure such as a decompressive laminectomy. The goal of such surgeries is to widen or enlarge the spinal canal while decompressing the spine itself to relieve pressure on the nerves. However, what your doctor may not be telling you is that there is a chance that the surgery could actually increase your pain or even cause numbness or paralysis.
In addition to these risks, there is a chance that even after a successful surgery, you may experience no sort of improvement at all. Moreover, as you continue to age, your spine will continue to degenerate and change, regardless of how it was surgically altered or modified. This means that the condition could return in the coming years.
Treating Stenosis Without Surgery
You might be surprised to hear that despite the serious nature of spinal stenosis, it can be treated with alternative methods to surgery. These methods include:
- Hot And Cold Compresses
While you might think that using heating and cooling agents on your back is a bit simplistic, the importance of this kind of therapy should not be overlooked. Switching between cold and heat will help to numb the pain and reduce swelling while increasing blood and oxygen flow to the area. In addition to providing some initial relief, this will help to promote your body’s natural healing abilities over time.
This is another course of action that you can easily do from your home and should not be taken for granted. Just doing simple stretches will help to increase your mobility and balance as well as strengthen your core muscles. A stronger body will be able to handle pain far better than a weaker one.
- Physical Therapy
While you might lump physical therapy in with exercise, when dealing with spinal stenosis, they are not exactly the same thing. This is because your regimen will likely combine therapeutic exercise with inactive therapy techniques such as electrical stimulation, massage, acupuncture, and ultrasound. These techniques will help to relax your muscles and build your endurance while reducing your overall level of discomfort.
What have you done to relieve the effects of spinal stenosis? The Illinois Back Institute has great experience with treating this condition as well as degenerated discs, neck pain, sciatica, herniated, and bulging discs. For more information regarding how you can handle your stenosis without surgery, request a free back consultation.