Non-Surgical Spinal Stenosis Treatments in Milwaukee

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within the spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. It occurs most often in the lower back and the neck. Spinal stenosis is usually caused by age-related degeneration and often occurs in individuals with osteoarthritis. It can also result from a herniated disc, spinal injuries, or tumors. 

The types of spinal stenosis are classified according to where on the spine the condition occurs. The two main types of spinal stenosis are cervical stenosis (narrowing occurs in the neck) and lumbar stenosis (narrowing occurs in the lower back). 

Symptoms

Depending on the area of the stenosis, people may experience different symptoms.

Symptoms of Cervical Stenosis:

  • Numbness or tingling in the limbs
  • Weakness in the limbs
  • Walking and balance problems
  • Neck pain
  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction (urinary urgency or incontinence) 

Symptoms of Lumbar Stenosis: 

  • Numbness or tingling in legs or feet
  • Weakness in legs or feet
  • Pain in legs when standing for long periods or during walking that is relieved when sitting or bending forward
  • Back pain

Causes

The leading cause for spinal stenosis is arthritis, a condition caused by the breakdown of cartilage and the growth of bone tissue. On the other hand, some people are born with spinal stenosis or diseases that lead to it. Other causes include:

  • Bulging discs/herniated discs
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Spinal injuries
  • Tumors
  • Paget’s disease

Treatment

Treatment will depend on what is causing your symptoms, the severity of your symptoms, and the location of the problem. If your symptoms are mild, your healthcare provider may recommend self-care remedies first, such as cold/heat therapy or exercise. Non-surgical treatments may include:

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications), such as ibuprofen or aspirin
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Decompression procedure