Characterized by the narrowing of the spaces between the spinal cord, it is easy to see how spinal stenosis can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Also, most people who suffer from spinal stenosis struggle moving, decreasing their ability to function a normal lifestyle. If you are part of the 8 to 11 percent of the population that has the condition, your doctor may recommend decompression surgery. Although effective for many, decompression surgery is an invasive procedure. With this guide, you will learn a few non-surgical options to find relief from your spinal stenosis.
Most patients take some sort of prescription medication to ease their pain. However, medication can also be used to reduce inflammation in the spinal cord. By reducing this inflammation, you are not only managing your pain, but you are also improving the movement of your spine. This allows you to complete normal tasks, ensuring you can have a somewhat normal life.
Prescription medications are not meant to take on a long-term basis. Plus, they should only be taken while under the supervision of your doctor. Make sure to use the medications as directed, since they can have some side effects.
Oral medications are most common, but your doctor may also suggest epidural injections. Epidural injections place medicine directly into the space between your spinal discs. This anti-inflammatory medication eases pain quickly, as opposed to oral medications which require some time to see improvements.
Many people believe that physical therapy should only be used after suffering a serious injury or during the recovery from a surgery, but that is not necessarily true. Physical therapy can be an effective option for patients who want to manage their spinal stenosis without invasive surgeries.
First and foremost, physical therapists will design an exercise plan suited to your needs. These exercises reduce inflammation, build strength, and enhance your body's overall endurance. For most people with spinal stenosis, the best exercises are low-impact movements, such as yoga, swimming, stretches, and weight-training, which do not place an excessive amount of stress on the spinal column.
Physical therapy does not only include physical exercises. During your therapy sessions, heat, ice, massage, electrical stimulation, and massage may also be used to alleviate inflammation and pain while improving mobility.
Living with your spinal stenosis is possible, but it can become physically and emotionally overwhelming. If you are against surgery at this time, consider medications or physical therapy for relief. Contact a doctor like Refkin Joseph P DC for more information and assistance.