How painful is spinal stenosis treatment?
If you’re suffering from spinal stenosis, you’re probably desperate to get treatment and get rid of the pain already, but the fear of the unknown may be keeping you out of the doctor’s office. In fact, it’s common for people to delay spinal stenosis treatment—and treatment for all kinds of back conditions, for that matter—because they’re afraid of “going under the knife.”
The good news is that surgery is a last resort as a spinal stenosis treatment. And, even if you end up being one of those who does need an operation, you’ll likely end up agreeing with the many patients who have been surprised at how little pain was involved in the procedure and recovery. And, don’t forget that you’re already suffering on a daily basis if you have spinal stenosis. Surgery for this condition is quick, easy, and once it’s over, your pain should be on its way out the door!
What is spinal stenosis
“Spinal stenosis is a condition, mostly in adults 50 and older, in which your spinal canal starts to narrow,” said WebMD. “This can cause pain and other problems.”
The pain is often felt as pressure on the spine, which can result in a “variety of symptoms, such as pain, leg cramping, numbness, tingling and weakness,” said Dr. Mark C. Valente, Board certified and fellowship trained orthopedic spine surgeon and Founder and Medical Director of DISC Spine Institute, a leader in minimally invasive back treatments and surgical procedures.
If addressed right away, spinal stenosis is a condition that is easily treated. If left to progress, it can lead to dangerous symptoms including difficulty walking and maintaining balance. “In severe cases, you may experience abnormalities with your bowel or bladder function, which can be irreversible,” said Dr. Valente. “This underscores the importance of seeking immediate treatment from a top spine doctor as soon as symptoms occur.”
Spinal stenosis treatment tends to start off conservatively with over-the-counter medication like Advil or Motrin, and may also include gentle exercise and physical therapy “to increase core strength to stabilize the spine so there is less micro-motion through the spine, less irritation of the nerve and therefore less pain,” said Dr. Valente. If the pain persists, your spine doctor may prescribe local epidural steroid injections, which can be used to help decrease nerve inflammation and therefore reduce the amount of pain you’re experiencing.
For serious cases of spinal stenosis, and when other treatments have not been effective, surgical procedures may be recommended. “When these treatments fail, minimally invasive surgery can be performed through a small 3 to 15 mm incision,” said Dr. Valente. “A small tubular retractor is gently placed in between the muscle fibers. Special instruments and magnification is used to relieve the pressure off the nerves by making more space for them. This is an outpatient procedure with a tiny suture-less incision.”
For more information about maintaining a healthy back and spinal stenosis treatment, contact DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain today. Minimally invasive surgical techniques mean treating chronic back pain is easier than ever, with outpatient treatments, small incisions, and a quicker recovery time instead of a long hospital stay.