Spinal stenosis is characterized by a narrowing of the spinal column, which places extra pressure on the spine. This pressure can be incredibly painful and often immobilizing, reducing your ability to complete tasks and live a normal life. Even though it is a natural part of the aging process, stenosis of the spine does not have to affect your life. Help is available. If you are currently dealing with stenosis, here are a few options to consider for pain relief.
Heat or Ice Therapy
The use of heating pads and ice packs are both effective for pain relief.
The heat from a heating pad relaxes muscles and ligaments surrounding your spine. This eases the pressure on your spinal cord, reducing pain for a short period of time.
Ice works in a similar manner, since it numbs your pain while improving blood circulation through your body. This improved blood circulation can offer relief if your spinal stenosis is causing pain in the legs and neck as well.
Exercise has been proven to offer many benefits for your health and wellness. With doctor supervision, it can ease your spinal stenosis pain. In addition, exercise boosts your endorphins, which instantly improve your mood.
During physical therapy sessions, it is important to complete low-impact movements that will not place excess stress and tension on the spine.
Swimming, yoga, Pilates, light walking, stretches, and other exercises specifically designed with your spinal cord in mind are all beneficial for pain relief.
While a more invasive form of pain relief compared to other options, surgery may be the best option for you. A lumbar laminectomy is the most common surgery performed on patients with spinal stenosis.
During this surgery, a small portion of the bone over the nerve/disc area of the spine is removed. By removing this piece of bone, extra space is created in the spinal column, reducing the pressure and stress on the discs.
After the surgery, your doctor will most likely recommend physical therapy to improve your strength and endurance while managing your pain.
With proper recovery steps, most patients find relief from their spinal stenosis after the surgery. On average, 70 to 80 percent of patients will see improved mobility and a reduction in their pain after a lumbar laminectomy.
You do not need to live with the pain of spinal stenosis. If you want to improve your comfort level, mobility, and quality of life, talk to your doctor about using one or more of these treatments for spinal stenosis pain. To learn more, talk to companies like the Headache and Pain Center.