Spinal stenosis is characterized by the narrowing pathway of nerves resulting in pinched nerves. When the nerves in Greenbelt spinal stenosis are compressed, they result in neck or low back pain. The condition can result from a disease like degenerative disc disease or a traumatic injury like a car accident.
Tissues that might lead to the narrowing of the nerve pathway include bone, cartilage, or muscle tissues.
The following are common causes of spinal stenosis:
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Bone spurs
- Spinal tumors
- Thickened ligaments
When you have spinal stenosis, your symptoms will usually display in your limbs and back. One of the most common symptoms includes neck or low back pain, which causes other symptoms like difficulty walking. When the nerves are compressed, they cannot transmit signals as they should, leading to tingling or numbness in your limbs.
If you have sciatica, you have pain running down one of your legs which can make you have weak leg muscles and poor balance. Similarly, you can have pain running down one arm, which can affect your grasping strength.
Your treatment plan will depend on the causes and symptoms of your condition. Mild cases of spinal stenosis can be treated with medications or physical therapy, while severe cases might require other techniques like the MILD procedure or surgery.
If you have mild spinal stenosis, your specialist might prescribe you pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medication, and steroid injections. While the drugs alleviate the pain, you might need to combine medicine with physical therapy for a better outcome.
Your specialist can recommend deep tissue massage and other exercises to strengthen your back muscles and relieve your spine. Physical activities can include stretches for your lower back, legs, and hips to increase stability and promote mobility. In addition, core strengthening exercises can help support your spine.
The MILD technique
If conservative treatments prove ineffective, your doctor can recommend minimally invasive procedures to help clear the pathway for your nerves. During the minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD), your specialist will create a tiny incision on your abdomen and remove the tissues constricting your spinal canal.
The procedure is straightforward, and you might not need stitches since the incision is small. Since it is an outpatient process, you can go home the same day and resume your daily routine. Other minimally invasive techniques include radiofrequency ablation and spinal cord stimulation.
If you cannot have a minimally invasive procedure, you can opt for open surgery. The process involves one incision on your abdomen to access your spine and remove the constricting tissues. Once done, your surgeon will stitch you up, and you might spend one night in the hospital for observation. The recovery might take a few days because of your wound.
If spinal stenosis is affecting your walking ability, visit Pain Management Associates LLC for treatment. The specialists at the center can provide different treatment options, including physical therapy and non-invasive procedures like the MILD technique. Call or book your appointment online today.