Can Spinal Stenosis Be Reversed?

Can Spinal Stenosis Be Reversed?

Do you have spinal stenosis? This common problem occurs when the space between your spine and spinal cord narrows, and it affects 8%-11% of Americans, most often those over age 50.

Spinal stenosis puts unwanted pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots in the area, triggering neck pain or back pain and radiating symptoms, such as tingling, numbness, weakness, and heaviness.

The condition usually develops because of age-related changes in the spine and osteoarthritis. However, problems can also occur due to herniated discs, thickened ligaments, spine injuries, tumors, and genetics. While you can’t reverse spinal stenosis, there are ways to find relief and manage your condition.

Dr. Arien Smith is a board-certified neurosurgeon at Brain and Spine Institute of New York and New Jersey. He offers expert nonsurgical and surgical treatments that can restore spinal function and relieve stenosis symptoms.

Nonsurgical solutions for spinal stenosis

Whatever possible, Dr. Smith starts with conservative methods to address spinal stenosis symptoms.

Physical therapy

We know what you're thinking. Exercise? But I'm in pain! Yet moving your body is essential when you have spinal stenosis. Incorporating physical therapy into your treatment strategy helps improve your strength and endurance along with your spinal flexibility and balance. 

In addition to physical activity, your physical therapy program could include massage therapy or chiropractic manipulation to help loosen your back muscles and encourage relaxation.

Medication

Depending on your symptoms, Dr. Smith could recommend medication in combination with other treatments. These might include over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or aspirin or prescription pain relievers and muscle relaxants.

Minimally invasive treatments for spinal stenosis

Dr. Smith also offers these in-office treatments for more moderate spinal stenosis symptoms. 

Targeted injections

This involves injecting medication directly into the area triggering your symptoms. For example, Dr. Smith could inject a corticosteroid solution near you or pinched nerve roots to reduce inflammation, irritation, and pain.

Decompression therapy

During a decompression procedure, Dr. Smith makes a tiny incision in your back and uses special tools to remove a small portion of the thickened ligament to create more space in your spinal canal. This treatment doesn’t require general anesthetic or stitches. You can usually go home within hours and start walking or doing physical therapy shortly thereafter.

Surgical interventions for spinal stenosis

If you have severe spinal stenosis symptoms, or if you don’t respond to conservative treatments, Dr. Smith may recommend surgery. These procedures focus on relieving pressure and restoring function in the affected area. 

Do you have spinal stenosis? Contact the Brain and Spine Institute of New York and New Jersey nearest you by phone or online to schedule a consultation today.

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