Finding relief from spinal stenosis pain
Spinal stenosis is a condition that describes the narrowing of the spaces of the spine. This narrowing puts pressure on your nerves and spinal cord, and can cause pain and other symptoms. Spinal stenosis most often occurs in the neck and lower back. It can be caused by degenerative changes of the spine related to osteoarthritis or other conditions such as bone spurs, herniated or ruptured discs, tumors, and spinal injuries.
Depending on the location of the stenosis, patients may have differing symptoms:
- In the neck (cervical spinal stenosis), patients may experience neck pain, numbness, weakness in the leg/foot/arm/hand. In serious cases, spinal cord stenosis may lead to incontinence, major body weakness, or even paralysis.
- In the lower back (lumbar spinal stenosis), patients may experience back pain, numbness or weakness in a foot or leg, pain/cramping in the legs, and difficulty standing/sitting.
Once spinal stenosis has been diagnosed by your doctor, first-line treatment may include conservative approaches such as physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medication. However, for more challenging chronic pain, your doctor may refer you to a pain management specialist. After reviewing your medical history and completing a thorough exam, the pain specialist may recommend more advanced treatment options:
For appropriate patients, a pain specialist can prescribe and regulate pain medication, and discuss with you how to take prescription pain medication properly.
Epidural steroid joint injections can help reduce your muscle pain and inflammation. The injection may be administered in joints that have been affected by spinal stenosis or other degenerative diseases.
Indirect Decompression for Moderate Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
PRC Alliance Pain Relief Centers is one of the first providers in Florida to offer the Superion® indirect decompression procedure for appropriate patients. Superion is a small, MRI-compatible titanium device designed to relieve pressure on affected nerves. It was developed to provide patients with a safe and effective alternative when conservative treatment has failed and laminectomy is too aggressive. This leading edge, minimally invasive outpatient procedure is an option for some patients who have suffered from moderate lumbar spinal stenosis with pain which radiates down the leg(s), and have been treated without surgery for over six months without relief. In most cases, patients walk out of the procedure on their own, having undergone no general anesthesia.
If you’re experiencing chronic pain from spinal stenosis, talk with your doctor or a board-certified pain management specialist about treatment options that may be right for you.
Kavita Sharma, DO is a double board certified pain management physician at PRC Alliance Pain Relief Centers. To learn more, visit Dr. Kavita Sharma’s profile.