Spinal stenosis can cause considerable discomfort, numbness or weakness. This happens when the areas that are narrowing put pressure on your spinal cord or nerve roots. If your pain is relatively minor or infrequent, your doctor will most likely recommend treating it with non-surgical methods, such as anti-inflammatory medication, restricted activity, physical therapy or over-the-counter pain relievers. Although these treatments can help, some can be risky. Prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause side effects or trigger adverse reactions. If you would rather avoid these potential complications, natural forms of treatment for stenosis are another option.
Alternative treatment methods that do not rely on medication include chiropractic care and acupuncture. These types of treatments are generally considered safe, as long as they are performed by qualified medical professionals. They can be effective at relieving the pain or numbness caused by stenosis, especially in the lower back. Some doctors recommend having one or more of these treatments done in addition to using more conventional treatment methods.
Chiropractic care, also known as spinal manipulation, involves having the affected area of the spine adjusted in order to improve flexibility and relieve pressure. This is thought to restore the spine’s normal alignment and reduce pain and other symptoms of stenosis. Chiropractors might also pull on the narrowed area to create more space in the spine, which also helps relieve discomfort. This type of treatment has been shown to have the same effectiveness as more traditional forms of back pain treatment in some people. If you decide to try chiropractic care, make sure you go to a reputable chiropractor with the right training and qualifications.
Acupuncture is another natural treatment for stenosis that can help ease inflammation and pain. In acupuncture, very thin needles are placed into certain points on your body to help stimulate healing. This form of treatment, which comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine, is based on the belief that your body’s natural energy, also called qi, needs to flow freely along meridian lines. If something prevents this from happening, a blockage can occur and lead to pain and discomfort. The needles are inserted into the areas of your body where a blockage is thought to occur and moved around to help break it up and restore the flow of energy. When this is done for stenosis, it should alleviate the symptoms it causes, especially lower back pain.
There are also several other forms of alternative treatments to consider if you need relief but don’t want to undergo surgery or take strong medications. Functional Disc Rehydration is one of these. This noninvasive procedure involves restoring hydration to discs in your spine in order to reduce back pain. Your doctor should also be able to recommend other options.
If you would like more information on natural treatments for stenosis, contact the Illinois Back Institute. Our clinics have been successfully treating people with back pain for several years.