Age-related wear and tear may be expected for a lot of things – your home, your car, your clothes, etc. But, when it happens to your body, it can be a particularly disturbing and painful development. Certain chronic conditions affecting the neck and back can lead to some of the worst pain and reduced mobility a person will experience in their lifetime.
Take, for example, spinal stenosis. It’s what happens when your spinal canal narrows with age, putting pressure on the nerves within it. This increased pressure can lead to pain, numbness, and muscle weakness in your neck (cervical spinal stenosis) and/or lower back (lumbar spinal stenosis). In severe cases, it can also cause impaired bladder and bowel control.
If you are diagnosed with spinal stenosis, it’s good to know that there are a wide variety of treatments available. They range from nonsurgical to surgical options, depending on the severity of your condition, the cause of your spinal stenosis, and your medical history.
Most often, a physician will offer a series of conservative, non-invasive or minimally invasive treatment options to help alleviate your pain. The goal is to relieve the pressure on the nerve root – or at least block the pain signals between the pinched nerve and your brain – without resorting to open neck and back surgery. These options include:
- Pain medication in the form of over-the-counter ibuprofen (e.g. Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy such as gentle movement, stretching, and range-of-motion exercises.
- Lifestyle changes including weight loss and exercise.
- Regular hot and cold compresses.
- Corticosteroid injections to help relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area.
There are also alternative spinal stenosis treatment options – such as massage therapy, chiropractic care, herbal medication, and acupuncture – that can be combined with more traditional techniques under the guidance and supervision of your doctor or another medical professional.
Of course, if none of these traditional and alternative treatment plans succeed in relieving your pain and spinal stenosis symptoms after a reasonable amount of time – say, several months – then minimally invasive spine surgery may be recommended.
Minimally invasive spine surgery to treat spinal stenosis involves making a small (less than 1-inch) incision, so as not to disrupt supporting muscles. Among the advantages of a minimally invasive approach is that it lowers the risk of complications and provides a shorter post-operative recovery time.
At Tarpon Orthopedics, we tailor our minimally invasive procedures to the precise cause of your spinal stenosis. Whether you require a discectomy (complete or partial removal) for a herniated disc or a foraminotomy to widen the foraminal canal and relieve the pressure on the nerves, our team specializes in the effective treatment of spinal stenosis.
If you live in the Plano, Texas area, Tarpon Orthopedics can help you regain the ability to move pain-free. We are experts in sports medicine, spine, and pain management, as well as joint replacement. To find out if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive spinal stenosis procedures, call (972) 596-1059 for a consultation today in our West Plano, North Plano, or Addison, Texas locations.