When you have been experiencing chronic back pain, it is a relief to finally find out what is causing the trouble. However, when you learn that you have spinal stenosis, you may not know what treatment options are available to you. Luckily, there are several different treatments available for spinal stenosis, both through conventional and alternative or homeopathic medicine. Get to know some of these treatment options and you will be well on your way to feeling better and overcoming your chronic back pain (or at least getting it under control).
Prescription and Over-The-Counter Medications
One of the first lines of defense against the pain caused by spinal stenosis is to take medication of some kind. Most likely, you have already tried taking over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for your back pain.
If these medications are not strong enough, prescription options may be available as well. Sometimes, doctors will try to prescribe muscle relaxants to see if some of the pain can be relieved by preventing muscle cramps in the back.
Opioid pain medications like morphine, oxycodone, and the like are also prescribed for the pain associated with spinal stenosis. However, opioids are highly addictive and can be problematic for the back pain sufferer in their own right.
Spinal Fusion Surgery
Spinal fusion surgery is a treatment option for spinal stenosis when basic lifestyle changes and prescription medications do not help to alleviate a person's pain and discomfort. This type of surgery involves grafting a piece of bone taken from the person's pelvis into the spine.
This bone graft is designed to make two or more separate vertebrae into one. When the bone graft is placed, it will take time to grow. Because of this, a metal piece is often used to maintain the fusion of the vertebrae until the bone graft tissue grows to hold it naturally.
Oftentimes, spinal fusion is combined with other surgeries for decompression to treat spinal stenosis. The decompression helps to free the nerves and spinal column from the pressure of the narrowing spine, and spinal fusion stabilizes the spine so that further issues do not arise.
If you like to use alternative medicine to treat various health issues and disorders, you may want to try acupuncture for your spinal stenosis. Acupuncture relies on an ancient Chinese philosophy that posits that the human body is a system of flowing energies.
When a person's energy flow is disrupted or blocked, they experience health issues and pain. To remedy such pains, like that of spinal stenosis, an acupuncturist will insert small needles into specific points throughout the body to stimulate energy properly again. For spinal stenosis, these points are along the spine, down the leg, and even in the feet, because the various areas of the body are thought to be interconnected.
Now that you know some of the treatment options available to you for your spinal stenosis, you can get started on the process of overcoming your chronic back pain and taking charge of your life.