Treating Pain Blog

Doctor Q&A

Q: I Have Spinal Stenosis…Do I Have to Live With It For The Rest Of My Life?

Doctor Q&A: I have spinal stenosis - do I have to live with it the rest of my life?

Answer: Yes, you do have to live with it for the rest of your life. However, many patients with spinal stenosis live life in the absence of pain or with minimal symptoms.

By making simple lifestyle modifications and pursuing conservative treatment options, such as oral medications, neuropathic agents, physical therapy, and epidural steroid injections, you’ll be on your way to pain-free living.

Spinal stenosis occurs as the structures of the spine gradually age, leading to narrowing of the spinal column and painful pressure on the nerves. Regrettably, no one can stop the aging process, but if spinal stenosis does occur, the pain can be lessened or temporarily relieved through:

  • Physical therapy, which focuses on strengthening the back muscles, proper posture, exercise, and weight loss
  • Epidural steroid injections can reduce the inflammation of the compressed nerves, relieving numbness and tingling
  • These techniques help reduce pressure on the spine and improve quality of life

If you pursue conservative treatment, but the signs and symptoms persist, surgery may be necessary especially for severe cervical stenosis. But it all starts with a proper diagnosis which will enable you to make informed choices about your treatment options.