What is Canal Stenosis?
Spinal canal stenosis is a term describing the narrowing of the passageway that protects the spinal cord. This can be caused by several underlying conditions and is often associated with the natural aging process. Symptoms related to this condition can be very disruptive to everyday activities and can begin to affect your job and relationships when left untreated. Relief for this condition is possible, and while there is no way to prevent it completely, you can take steps to improve your overall spine health and decrease the chances of this condition developing.
Canal Stenosis Prevention
The natural aging process and associated degeneration of spinal components are the most common cause of spinal stenosis. That means it can be difficult to prevent spinal canal narrowing since none of us can avoid getting older and the effect this can have on our bodies. However, maintaining good overall health can mean having a healthier neck and back as you age.
Regular exercise, including gentle stretches, aerobic, and weight-bearing exercises are central to good spinal health. Activities that involve intense, repetitive twisting and bending or sports that pose a risk of forceful impacts can contribute to the breakdown of spinal components, so avoiding these activities altogether, or at least wearing proper safety gear and taking precautions against spine injuries, is important.
Conservative Canal Stenosis Treatment Methods
Doctors generally begin canal stenosis treatment with a course of conservative therapies if this condition is diagnosed. Effective treatments differ from person to person, so it can take some time to find the specific combination of conservative treatments that most effectively manage symptoms and improve range of motion. Some of the more commonly used treatment approaches include:
- Taking pain medications
- Using heat and/or cold therapy
- Undergoing physical therapy
- Making lifestyles changes, like quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, regularly exercising, and losing weight
- Pursuing alternative treatments like yoga, chiropractic care, and acupuncture
In many cases, using one or more of these techniques can reduce the pain, muscle weakness, numbness, and other symptoms associated with canal stenosis. However, conservative treatment doesn’t always provide effective relief for everyone, and some people may find spine surgery a viable option.
If Surgery Becomes an Option…
If conservative treatment for canal stenosis hasn’t sufficiently relieved your symptoms, consider minimally invasive surgery with BEST Health System. Our surgeons use advanced technology and muscle-sparing techniques that allow for an outpatient procedure with less risk of complication than traditional open-spine surgery.
Contact our team today to learn more about outpatient procedures at BEST.