As you get older and your spine begins to narrow, you may be limited by pain from spinal stenosis. At Bluffs Pain Management, Andrew Huff, MD, specializes in nonsurgical treatment solutions for the back and neck pain that spinal stenosis can cause. Dr. Huff customizes a treatment plan to keep your pain under control in the long term and reduce your risk for serious complications like paralysis. To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for spinal stenosis, call the Council Bluffs, Iowa, pain management office or book a consultation online today.
Spinal stenosis describes the narrowing of your spinal column. This narrowing can happen as you get older and the structures in your spine begin to break down or the ligaments get thick and stiff.
You may also be at increased risk for developing spinal stenosis if you have spinal injuries or diseases like:
These issues can put pressure on the nerves surrounding your spine, causing chronic neck pain, back pain, and a variety of other symptoms.
You should schedule a pain management consultation for spinal stenosis if you have symptoms that limit you physically or if you have back pain or neck pain that you can’t treat on your own.
Besides back and neck pain, spinal stenosis can cause symptoms like numbness, weakness, and tingling sensations that radiate into other parts of your body.
If you have spinal stenosis in your upper (cervical) spine, these symptoms can affect your shoulders, arms, and hands. If the narrowing occurs in your lumbar (lower) spine, you may experience these symptoms in your hips, legs, and feet.
In some cases, spinal stenosis can progress and cause serious complications like the loss of bladder or bowel control and paralysis.
Your treatment plan for spinal stenosis depends on the severity of your symptoms. Dr. Huff reviews your medical history and may order diagnostic testing like X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of your spine to determine which pain management strategies are right for you.
Available treatment options include:
Prescription anti-inflammatories and pain relievers can ease your symptoms and make it easier to be physically active.
If oral medications aren’t enough to treat your pain, you may be a candidate for nerve blocks or epidural injections, which deliver medications directly into your spine.
Minimally invasive corrective procedures
Dr. Huff may recommend minimally invasive procedures (MILD, Vertiflex, Minuteman) , which can alleviate symptoms, without the need for a major surgery.
For moderate to severe pain from spinal stenosis, spinal cord stimulation may be an option. This treatment uses low currents of electricity to block pain signals that originate in your spine. You control the delivery of energy with an external remote to treat pain as it happens.
Dr. Huff also values the benefits of physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in your spine and improve your range of motion. If your chronic pain is causing anxiety or depression, he can refer you for behavioral therapy to learn the tools you need to address your challenges.
To learn more about pain management solutions available for spinal stenosis, call Bluffs Pain Management to schedule an appointment, or book one online today.