What are surgical and non-surgical treatment options for spinal stenosis?

A variety of treatment options are available for spinal stenosis.

The following are non-surgical treatment options, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH):

  • Wearing back brace
  • Limiting your activity
  • Exercising through physical therapy
  • Using medicines to reduce or relieve pain

Most doctors will try some of these non-surgical options as a first step to treating spinal stenosis. Some doctors also might recommend alternative treatment options, including chiropractic treatment or acupuncture, according to the NIH.

Surgical treatment might be recommended to treat spinal stenosis, according to the NIH, if you have:

  • Bowel and bladder function problems
  • Nervous symptom problems
  • Symptoms that cause problems walking

If surgery is needed, the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS) states there are two main surgical options to treat spinal stenosis:

  • Laminectomy – This removes the bone, bone spurs and ligaments that are compressing the nerves in the spine.
  • Spinal fusion – this treatment will decompress and stabilize the spine if arthritis has caused spinal instability

Talk to your doctor for more information about treatment options for spinal stenosis.

Learn more: