Understanding the Different Treatments for Spinal Stenosis

Between 250,000-500,000 Americans have symptoms of spinal stenosis at any given time, although many more may have a narrowed spinal column without any warning signs. It has a wide range of potential causes, including:

Spinal stenosis can cause localized pain, but in many cases, it compresses a nerve leading to radiating pain, numbness, and weakness. For example, you might experience sciatica symptoms in your lower back, buttocks, hips, and legs.

Here at Spine & Pain Institute of Florida in Lakeland, Florida, Dr. Navdeep Jassal, our pain-management specialist, offers comprehensive exams and diagnostic testing to identify the cause of your spinal stenosis symptoms and determine the best treatment. 

Once we understand your specific needs, we can recommend a treatment plan that may include one or more of the therapies described below.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is a common component of treatment plans for spinal stenosis. We work with you to strengthen your core and improve the flexibility of your back muscles to enhance support for your spine. We often combine physical therapy with other treatments.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that creates a lesion on a malfunctioning nerve. The lesion stops pain signals from traveling to your brain. Dr. Jassal uses fluoroscopy to guide a hollow needle to the correct location in your spine before inserting the radiofrequency wire and releasing the energy.

Steroid injection

Steroid injections deliver a combination of a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid. Steroids are potent and long-acting anti-inflammatories that provide long-lasting relief. However, the steroid can take 24-48 hours to kick in. This is where the local anesthetic comes in, as it provides almost immediate relief while the steroid takes effect

Sympathetic nerve block

A sympathetic nerve block is another injection that delivers pain-blocking medication into one of the ganglion nerve clusters in your spine. Depending on the location of your injection, Dr. Jassal may provide a local anesthetic or sedation to help you stay comfortable and relaxed during the injection.

Spinal cord stimulator

A spinal cord stimulator isn’t a first-line approach to managing spinal stenosis pain. However, if other treatments aren’t successful, this implantable device delivers a mild electrical current into your spine. The current disrupts the pain signals from traveling to your brain. Dr. Jassal can implant a spinal cord stimulator during an outpatient surgery. 

Intrathecal pain pump

The intrathecal pain pump is another implantable device. Like a spinal cord stimulator, it’s not a first-line treatment, but it delivers a precise dose of medication directly to the source of your pain. You will need a surgical procedure to have the pain pump placed in your body. You also have routine follow-up appointments for Dr. Jassal to fill the pump reservoir. 

mild® procedure

The mild procedure is a minimally invasive treatment that addresses lumbar spinal stenosis. During the treatment, Dr. Jassal uses the specialized equipment to remove a small piece of one of the ligaments that support your spine. This increases the space around your spinal cord, relieving nerve pressure and pain. 

Vertiflex™

The Vertiflex procedure is an FDA-approved minimally invasive treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis. Dr. Jassal places a small titanium spacer into your spine. As it creates extra space, the pressure on your nerves releases and your pain subsides. 

Call our office or schedule a consultation online today if you have any concerns about spinal stenosis. When you come in for a visit, Dr. Jassal provides a thorough exam to ensure he delivers the best treatment to relieve your pain and restore your quality of life. 

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