You know how spinal Stenosis can affect your daily life. Severe spinal stenosis Pain can limit patients’ mobility and make it difficult to do basic tasks.
Treatment plans for spinal Stenosis often include painkillers. Pain medications can be used with other therapies, such as physical therapy and lifestyle changes.
Why does my spinal Stenosis cause me so much pain?
Spinal Stenosis can be painful as it narrows the spinal canal and puts pressure on nerve roots. These nerves can become compressed and cause pain, cramping, and weakness.
Spinal Stenosis may also become more painful when performing specific movements and activities. This includes:
- Walking for long periods
- Spine excessively bent and twisted
- Contact sports like football, basketball, and hockey
- Lifting with a rounded-back
How can you prevent spinal Stenosis from getting worse?
to prevent spinal Stenosis from getting worse
- Avoid movements and activities that cause strain on the spine.
- Start an exercise program that is low impact to maintain flexibility, mobility, and muscle strength.
- Improve your posture to reduce stress on spinal structures and tissues.
- Nicotine reduces the blood flow in your spine.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Extra weight can put extra pressure on your spine.
- Avoid muscle tension that can worsen the pain associated with spinal Stenosis.
What helps relieve severe spinal stenosis pain?
Spinal Stenosis can be relieved by medications, physical therapy, alternative treatments, and surgery.
Physical therapy is the best non-surgical option for treating spinal Stenosis. Physical therapy (PT) helps relieve pressure on spinal nerves through stretching, targeted exercises, and other alternative therapies such as heat/cold and electrical stimulation.
Physical therapy can be beneficial for treating lumbar spinal Stenosis.
- Reduced stiffness and pain
- Nerve compression relief
- Strengthening abdominal muscles
- Alignment of the lumbar spine is improved
Lower Back Pain Medication
Lower back pain medications for severe spinal Stenosis may include NSAIDs or antidepressants. They can also be corticosteroid injections. Although medicine can offer immediate relief for severe spinal Stenosis, it may also cause side effects or complications.
NSAIDs are commonly used medications to treat inflammation and pain. They’re available over the counter in the form of Advil, Aleve, and Motrin and in prescription-strength varieties.
Antidepressant medication may reduce severe spinal stenosis symptoms by increasing certain neurotransmitters within the spinal cord. These neurotransmitters reduce pain signals and provide moderate pain relief. Antidepressants may take several weeks before they provide significant comfort for spinal Stenosis.
- Anti-seizure medication
Some anti-seizure drugs, such as gabapentin or pregabalin, can alleviate the pain caused by nerve damage.
- Epidural steroid injections
Lower-back pain is commonly treated with epidural steroid shots. This treatment is used to treat inflammation of the spinal nerves. The corticosteroid used in the injection removes the proteins causing swelling in the spine’s nerves, resulting in relief of spinal stenosis.
Doctors generally only allow their patients to receive 2 to 3 injections annually. These injections, if used in excess, can damage tissue.
- Muscle relaxants
Spinal Stenosis can cause muscle spasms and radiating pain. Muscle relaxants may help.
What is the Best muscle relaxer for Spinal Stenosis?
The best muscle relaxer to treat spinal Stenosis varies from patient to patient. The best options are baclofen cyclobenzaprine and methocarbamol.
Baclofen, an antispastic medication, is widely used for treating muscle spasms caused by spinal conditions such as lumbar Stenosis. FDA-approved for treating symptoms of muscle spasticity due to spinal disorders. Baclofen is known to relieve pain, improve muscle motion and loosen stiffness by influencing spinal nerves.
Baclofen can cause drowsiness and weakness. It may also cause dizziness or difficulty sleeping. Other side effects include nausea, increased urination frequency, headaches, and constipation.
Cyclobenzaprine reduces muscle hyperactivity caused by musculoskeletal disorders. Patients with lumbar Stenosis can use it to relieve pain and improve their function. Unfortunately, cyclobenzaprine is no longer effective after two or three weeks of treatment.
Cyclobenzaprine can cause drowsiness and nausea.
Methocarbamol works by blocking pain signals from entering the brain. This relieves pain and muscle spasms. It is less sedating and has a lower abuse rate than other muscle-relaxing drugs.
Methocarbamol is most commonly associated with drowsiness and dizziness. Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, headaches, and blurred sight.
What is the best treatment for spinal Stenosis at L4 or L5?
Spinal decompression using the Tops System is the best option for treating spinal Stenosis in L4 and L5 that does not improve with non-surgical treatment.