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Spinal Stenosis and Symptoms of Lumbar Stenosis Including Best Treatment Options

Spinal Stenosis and Symptoms of Lumbar Stenosis Including Best Treatment Options

Dr. Michael Derry, DPT, PT, OCS Jacksonville, Florida
Table of Contents

Spinal stenosis symptoms can vary in severity and can present in many ways. Lumbar stenosis can cause pain with walking or standing. Best treatment options often include conservative care such as physical therapy.

Understanding Spinal Stenosis: NHS Inform and Mayo Clinic on Symptoms and Treatment

Spinal stenosis, a clinical condition, that often affects the lumbar spine. Clinical means, it is more accurately diagnosed in the clinical exam vs. images. It is a condition that is characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal or the space where the nerve exits the spine to the lower part of the body. Sinai doctors from the Sinai Mount healthcare institution attest that this condition could cause symptoms that are primarily neurological, given the body part it affects. That means stenosis can occurs at levels of the spine such as L5-S1 which we would expect to see weakness, numbness or tingling in the lower leg. Understanding spinal stenosis is key to getting optimal lumbar care which is provided at Revision Health Services.

NHS Inform, a respected healthcare professional organization, alongside synonymous names like the Mayo Clinic, offers great insight on this condition. They provide a wealth of information on symptoms and treatment of spinal stenosis, allowing us to understand this disease better. One of the most common forms is lumbar spinal stenosis, and it merits special attention as it often leads to quite severe symptoms.

Anyone seeking MD advice on spinal stenosis should understand the complexities and idiosyncrasies of this disease. It is pivotal, regardless of the lumbar stenosis treatment pursued, to work closely with your healthcare professional to mitigate symptoms and manage the condition effectively. While it can be progressive the symptoms can absolutely improve.

Identifying Pain and Symptoms in Spinal Stenosis

The most common pain and symptom is often leg pain when you walk. If you're experiencing low back pain, it could be a symptom of spinal stenosis. It's important to recognise these symptoms early and seek lumbar stenosis treatment at Revision Health Services if you live in Jacksonville, Florida. Your lower back or even neck may feel constrained and cause pain. This condition can also result in neck pain, making it crucial to get it addressed.

Now, many wonder what exactly causes this pain in their lower back and neck. It's primarily due to the narrowing of the spinal column or spinal nerve root compression, leading to pressure on the nerves, a condition known as spinal stenosis. Stenosis by definition is a space issue. This pain isn't usual and can become symptomatic of a more serious issue if not treated promptly.

Doctors at Cleveland Clinic often recommend physical therapy as a primary treatment. Therapy has been effective in managing symptoms and reducing the need for invasive medicine or surgeries. It's a non-invasive method that is growing in popularity, particularly due to its effectiveness. So, if you're suffering from persistent pain in your back and neck, don't hesitate. Seek help and receive state-of-the-art spinal care today.

This therapy can include strengthening, stretching, and learning how to improve nerve symptoms.

Spine showing spinal stenosis
Lumbar Stenosis

The Role of the Spine in Spinal Stenosis: Necessity of Surgery

Spinal stenosis is a significant source of discomfort for many patients. It's characterized by a narrowing of the spinal canal that houses the spine, consisting of a series of interconnected vertebrae. This narrowing can place pressure on the nerves housed within, leading to a host of neurological symptoms that can significantly impair one's quality of life. Surgery often becomes a necessity, particularly when the stenosis is severe. The severity is determined by the clinical exam and imaging.

Undergoing surgery for spinal stenosis isn't a decision to be taken lightly. It's a choice made in consultation with an orthopedic surgeon, one experienced in spinal care and who understands the necessity of treating the spine with utmost caution. It's a complex structure, consisting of a series of interconnecting vertebrae, each playing a crucial role in our bodily functions. A single mistake can have serious repercussions. Surgical intervention is usually a last resort when it comes to low back pain caused by stenosis. Consult your orthopedic surgeon to determine your best treatment path for spinal stenosis.

Surgery is common and often effective but only when done at the right time. Even if you feel that you need surgery, those who work with physical therapy prior often have better outcomes and more strength going into the surgery. What I tell my patients is that, you want to think of surgery as your sport and you need to prep prior.

When Symptoms Persist: Advanced Spine Surgery and Treatment

Spinal stenosis is an often-painful condition, but we're here to help at Revision Health Services. Our mission is to provide exceptional care for those experiencing symptoms. Even when symptoms persist, our advanced physical therapy methods and treatment options are designed to bring you relief. With lumbar spinal care as our specialty, we see frequent cases of persistent back pain, numbness, and discomfort. These troubling symptoms are generally caused by the narrowing of the spinal canal. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

There are times where the symptoms from lumbar stenosis are so severe that surgery may be the only option. The most common procedure performed by orthopedic surgeons is called a laminectomy. Surgeons will remove bony spurs or bone that surrounds the exiting nerve from the spinal cord. This should reduce the pressure that is placed on the nerve and help to mitigate symptoms that run down the leg. This is often thought of as root rooting the area around the nerve. It's not as scary as it sounds.

This type of surgery becomes an option when symptoms are so bad they are not relieved conservative treatment. When the pain or numbness that runs down the legs is so severe that a person can no longer walk or stand for even a short period of time then surgery may be necessary.

Recovery from a laminectomy depends on your level of activity and physical status before the surgery. For some patient’s it is recommended to attend physical therapy before the surgery to ensure that the recovery goes as smoothly as possible. Patients are encouraged to walk and move the day after surgery. Most discharges from the hospital occur between 1-4 days depending on the person. Recovery can take between 4 and 6 weeks to get back to prior level of function.

As with most surgeries there will be pain around the area where they operated.

Remember they have to cut the skin and usually remove bone for this procedure. Bone can take up to 12 weeks to fully heal, and the process can be painful at times.

It is important to weigh the pros and cons of surgery and to be sure that it aligns with what you are looking for. There will be time off of work. How long will depend on the type of work you do and the severity of the surgery. Most people can return to work around 4-8 weeks following surgery.

In a recent review of studies on lumbar stenosis it was found that surgery can be effective in particular patients who have back, buttock, and lower extremity pain that did not improve with conservative management.

The study used 94 participants with confirmed lumbar stenosis. They used decompressive laminectomy as an intervention and found that the symptoms improved compared to the non operative techniques.

It is important to start with the least invasive approach when treating lumbar stenosis in the absence of severe neurological signs and symptoms. Physical therapy is low cost and presents with minimal risk to the patient. When this conservative management fails, then the option remains for a decompressive laminectomy.

Early intervention is key to reducing the likelihood of surgery. By continuing to stay mobile and using techniques that will reduce the pressure on the nerve, we can avoid surgery or at the very least buy more time before it is needed. Furthermore, using interventions that involve movement are proven to be safe and effective in the treatment of lumbar stenosis.

Eliminating Neck and Lower Back Pain: Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Your Spine

When it comes to managing spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, many tend to cringe, assuming that surgery is the only effective treatment. However, Revision Health Services stresses the elimination of neck and lower back pain through non-surgical care options for your spine This can include manual therapy and even dry needling! Don't undervalue the potential of these non-invasive treatments; they can provide immense relief and significantly improve your condition.

The goal of non-surgical spine care focuses on reducing spinal stenosis symptoms, enhancing the quality of life, and preventing further spinal degeneration. Using tools like physical therapy, targeted exercises, and pain management techniques, we can achieve this without delving into the complexities of surgery. Improvement of the neck and lower back can do wonders for the overall condition of the spine.

Don't let fear of surgery prevent you from seeking help for your spinal condition. There's a wide range of effective treatments that can offer substantial relief and even possible reversal of your spinal stenosis symptoms. Consider exploring these spine treatments at Revision Health Services- where we prioritize your overall spinal care.

Typical non surgical treatment options include activity modification along with anti inflammatory medication. By reducing some of the movements that cause the pain to increase, those with lumbar stenosis can manage their pain more effectively. Walking or standing for too long can cause symptoms to increase. Extending the back is another provocative movement, this means leaning back. During walking or standing, the back will go into this extended posture which can lead to increased symptoms in the back and down the leg. A great to immedidiatley eliminate lower back pain from stenosis is flexion based exercises! This article I review what not to do and flexion based exercises to provide quick relief! 

Some patients and pain management physicians may recommend an epidural injection to help reduce the pain. The research does not support this as an effective long term treatment option for those with lumbar stenosis. A randomized control trial looked at 400 participants with lumbar stenosis. They found that there were no clinically meaningful differences between a group of people who had an epidural injection compared to just a local anesthetic at 6 weeks. They came to the conclusion that epidural steroid injections may offer moderate short-term pain relief but that it did not appear to last more than 3 weeks.

With regard to non surgical treatments, the research supports the use of physical therapy to help reduce symptoms. In a study that used a 6 week program that included manual therapy, treadmill walking, strengthening, and stretching exercises found that 79% of people reported to be “somewhat better.” This was compared to 41% of people reported feeling better from a flexion based program alone.

The moral of the story is that movement is medicine in the treatment of lumbar stenosis.

Success in Recovery: Testimonials from Patients with Spinal Stenosis Undergoing Treatment and Surgery

When it comes to treating spinal stenosis, our top-notch services at Revision Health Services have consistently achieved overwhelming success. We've seen patients grapple with excruciating bone pain and undergo special surgery due to issues with their vertebrae and the spinal canal. Yet there's a remarkable stream of testimonials, abound with stories of recovery from patients who've undergone both surgical and non-surgical treatment. This isn't magic, it's the result of the painstaking effort of our top professionals in upholding care and treatment.

We're well versed in the trials of dealing with spinal stenosis. It's a difficult road when one's spinal canal narrows, exerting pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves. This leads to insufferable pain in the neck, lower back, and bone regions, and sadly, sometimes conventional treatment may not bring the desired relief. In such cases, as our previous subtitles have discussed, special surgery becomes necessary.

Yet, what shines through our services is the ultimate objective - a pain-free life, backbone of our patient testimonials. Offering hope and optimism, these enlightening narratives illustrate that successful recovery from spinal stenosis and subsequent pain isn't a tall feat but a possible reality through professional care.

In conclusion there are many treatment options when it comes to managing pain caused by lumbar stenosis. Remember, you don’t need to live in pain and there are ways to reclaim your independence. Non-operative options have proven to have a positive impact on pain related to lumbar stenosis. Research proves that selected exercises help to improve pain and quality of life. Exercises such as cycling, treadmill walking, and aquatic therapy are proven as safe interventions. There was a study that looked at combining a home flexion based exercise program with either cycling or treadmill walking. Both groups showed significant improvement using a scale that measures back pain and associated disability. The take home message is that movement is our friend and helps us maintain our function and decrease the associated pain that comes from those with lumbar lordosis. Want to know more?

Using what we know from the research, most people like flexion based exercises to help reduce the symptoms of central canal stenosis. Using these exercises can increase your ability to get outside and enjoy life! Build your team, learn your body, and keep moving.

Revision Health Services offers physical therapy and wellness in Jacksonville, Nocatee, and St. Johns, Florida. To find out if our services could be the best fit for you, reach out and let's chat!


1. Katz JN, Zimmerman ZE, Mass H, Makhni MC. Diagnosis and Management of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Review. JAMA. 2022;327(17):1688–1699. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.5921

Dr. Michael Derry is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and board certified in orthopedics. He is very passionate about treating lower back pain and helping people build their resiliency. He has spent time assisting at universities as well as managing large clinics before starting his own practice in Jacksonville, FL.

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