Your vertebrae form a tunnel that encases your spinal cord. When this tunnel, or spinal canal, narrows, it squeezes these nerves and causes serious symptoms. Spinal stenosis occurs most frequently in the lower back and the neck, but it can occur anywhere along your spine.
Not everyone who presents with spinal stenosis in imaging exams has symptoms. But chances are if you have stenosis, symptoms will appear over time. At Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management of New York, our team can help you identify symptoms of the condition and offer real, effective pain management.
Symptoms of stenosis
If you have narrowing of your spine in your neck, or cervical stenosis, it can affect nerves that control sensation in many different parts of your body. You may have neck pain and also numbness, weakness, or tingling in an arm, hand, leg, or foot. You may even find that your balance is off and that walking is compromised.
Lumbar, or lower back, stenosis is the most common form of the condition. How you experience symptoms depends on exactly where the stenosis is in your lower back and the nerves affected. You may have numbness, weakness, or tingling in a foot or leg. Cramping and pain in your legs after long periods of standing or walking may also occur. Back pain is also a sign of lumbar stenosis.
Treatment for stenosis
At Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management of New York, we treat spinal stenosis with an individualized plan to address your symptoms. Whenever possible, we offer alternatives to invasive surgery.
Prescription medications may relieve your spinal stenosis pain. You also may benefit from epidural steroid injections, especially when you need a temporary break from an acute bout of pain.
Epidural steroid injections are helpful both in the lower back and neck. Although the goal of the injections is pain relief, it can help you feel good enough to participate in rehabilitative physical therapy. Plus, if the first injection is effective, you can have up to three in a one-year period.
We also offer selective nerve root block injections to help relieve lower back or cervical spine stenosis. These injections are also limited to three times per year.
Facet joint injections are another alternative to oral pain medications. They include a small amount of a local anesthetic and a steroid to anesthetize the facet joints and block the pain. When you get pain relief with a facet joint injection, you may be better able to tolerate physical therapy and restore function naturally.
All of these injections can provide you with longer-term relief than prescription medications. Pain relievers such as opioids may be offered on a short-term basis. However, if you have chronic pain from stenosis, we offer medical marijuana for relief. Medical marijuana is a viable alternative to the highly addictive opioids used conventionally to treat long-term pain.
The team at Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management wants to help you overcome back and neck pain. They can help determine if stenosis is the cause and offer sustainable pain relief. Call the office in either Staten Island or Hartsdale, New York, or request an appointment using this website to explore your options.