As people age, pain can result in the legs due to spinal stenosis. This refers to spinal arthritis over growing areas and pinching on spinal nerves as they tried to leave the spinal canal. It’s one of the most common diagnoses as an individual in the 50 to 85 age range develops pain in the lower extremities.
Once the diagnosis is made and is deemed not to be a vascular issue, the question is how to avoid surgery for symptomatic spinal stenosis. The surgery that is done to relieve the pain is called a laminectomy and is purely an elective procedure.
Here are the 7 most effective ways to treat stenosis to avoid going under the knife.
1. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and Tylenol. This sounds very simple and it is. These medications are low risk when taken according to manufacturer’s recommended dosing. In addition, they can be extremely effective for mild to moderate symptoms of spinal stenosis. As a nerve roots gets pinched from the overgrown tissue with arthritis, inflammation can result, which is what the anti-inflammatories can reduce.
2. Physical therapy. PT can be extremely helpful for reducing stenosis pain,
strengthening up the muscles in the back, along with core strengthening, flexibility and relieving pressure on nerves. In addition, there are treatments including electrical stimulation and ultrasound which may also relieve symptoms.
3. Chiropractic treatment. While not a permanent solution, spinal stenosis can be helped with Phoenix chiropractor manipulations. This may temporarily decompress nerve roots and hence reduce pain.
4. Spinal decompression therapy. This treatment became FDA cleared back in the late 1990s and involves intermittent spinal traction. Continuous spinal traction has been shown not to be helpful for spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease. However, individuals with spinal stenosis often can obtain 3 to 6 months of pain relief with a series of decompression therapy.
5. Additional medications. Pain management doctors in Arizona may treat stenosis with medications including nerve membrane stabilizers such as Lyrica or Neurontin. It is unclear how these medicines work, but they can help a lot with sciatica type pain from stenosis. For periods of acute exacerbation, narcotics may be indicated to relieve bad symptoms. Over the long-term, the risks start to outweigh the benefits however.
Modern Arizona pain management involves the usage of fluoroscopy, which is a real-time form of x-ray for increased accuracy. There are multiple different ways of performing epidural injections, including intralaminar epidurals, transforaminal epidurals or caudal injections. A person may need a series of injections to obtain maximum pain relief, and this can be repeated every few months.
If you or a loved one is experiencing spinal stenosis type symptoms, help is available. Arizona Pain Specialists offers comprehensive pain treatments for spinal stenosis, which are performed by an Award Winning team of Board Certified pain management doctors and chiropractors. There are 4 locations throughout the Valley, including a new Phoenix pain clinic.
Arizona Pain accepts over 50 different insurances. The clinics have Arizona pain doctors accepting Medicare, Medicaid, major medical, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation and self pay. For more information and scheduling, call (602) 507-6550 today!