Treatment for Spinal Stenosis at Rolling Hills Medical in Torrance
While some people experience no symptoms of spinal stenosis, many patients suffer with daily pain and discomfort. It’s important to seek treatment for spinal stenosis, as pain symptoms can gradually worsen over time as nerve pressure increases. At Rolling Hills Medical in Torrance, we offer several treatment options, including surgical and non-surgical therapies.
Spinal Stenosis and its Symptoms
Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the narrowing of the spinal column compresses the spinal cord. As the space around the spinal cord narrows, the constriction causes increased pressure on spinal nerve roots, leading to pain, numbness, and trouble with balance. The two main types of spinal stenosis are cervical stenosis and lumbar stenosis. Cervical stenosis refers to narrowing in the neck, whereas lumbar stenosis, the more prevalent type, refers to narrowing in the lower back.
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
Individuals born with a narrow spinal column have what is know as congenital spinal stenosis. However, most people experience spinal stenosis as a result of wear-and-tear, herniated discs, or other conditions that affect the spinal canal. Common conditions that may lead to spinal stenosis include:
- Scoliosis - Irregular curvature in the spine often leads to degenerative symptoms that affect the lumbar spine.
- Osteoarthritis - The wearing down of protective cartilage in the spine can prompt the formation of bone spurs growing into the spinal canal.
- Paget’s Disease - A chronic disorder that can result in enlarged or misshapen bones in the spine.
- Thickened Ligaments - The ligaments that help hold the spine together can thicken over time and bulge into the spinal canal.
- Aging - The natural aging process can cause the flattening of the spinal discs over time, resulting in a gradual narrowing of room for the spinal nerves and often leading to herniated discs.
- Herniated Discs - Spinal discs are soft and rubbery, acting as shock absorbers for the spine. When the soft inner disc material leaks through cracks in the disc’s exterior casing, the inner fluid escapes and puts pressure on the nerves and spinal cord.
- Spinal Injuries - Trauma from car accidents or other injuries can dislocate or fracture spinal vertebrae. Damaged bone can affect the spinal canal and nearby tissue swelling can cause excess pressure on the spinal cord.
- Abnormal Growths - Though uncommon, tumors can grow inside the spinal cord, in membranes covering the spinal cord, or even in the space between the spinal cord and vertebrae.
Treatment for Spinal Stenosis
At Rolling Hills Medical, our team of integrated health professionals offers a variety of treatment options for spinal stenosis, from physical therapy to spinal fusion surgery. We recognize that many patients are nervous about the prospect of spinal surgery and we can recommend several non-invasive treatment options that could prevent the need for surgery. At Rolling Hills Medical in Torrance, we offer the following spinal stenosis treatment options:
- Physical Therapy and Exercise - Rehabilitative therapy, including stretching, flexing, and strengthening exercises can help open up the spine, strengthen the back, and reduce pressure on spinal nerves. Manual therapies, range-of-motion exercises, and aerobics are often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to reduce pain caused by spinal stenosis. Daily at home exercises and remaining active can help with maintaining weight, which reduces stress on the spine.
- Epidural Steroid Injections - Corticosteroid injections are provided for patients who have found little to no pain relief from NSAIDs and other non-invasive treatment options. The epidural steroid injections reduce inflammation, temporarily providing pain relief.
- Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures - Using advanced techniques, our spine surgery experts perform minimally invasive procedures that that offer feaster healing times and reduce the risk of damage to surrounding tissues. Minimally invasive spine procedures are effective for treating conditions such as Degenerative Disc Disease, herniated discs, and lumbar spinal stenosis.
- Lumbar Micro Decompression Surgery - Also known as a lumbar microdiscectomy surgery, this involves accessing the spine through a small incision to remove the portion of a herniated disc that is causing irritation.
- Cervical and lumbar fusion surgery - Using metal screws and rods, or a patient’s own bone graft, two or more vertebrae are fused together to improve stability in the spine. Spinal fusion surgeries are effective at relieving pain caused from degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and fractured vertebra.
What to Expect
At Rolling Hills Medical we want each patient to feel comfortable and informed at every step of the treatment process. Before treatment, your doctor will review your medical history, diagnostic results, and current medications. This minimally invasive outpatient procedure generally takes between 15-45 minutes. We do recommend that patients make arrangements for transportation, as recovery time may be needed.
Patients are required to lie on an x-ray table to allow the physician to clean the area of injection and administer a local anesthetic. Little to no pain is felt, but patients often feel slight pressure upon needle insertion. Using live x-ray fluoroscopy allows the doctor to view the needle insertion on a monitor. Contrast dye is injected to confirm medication delivery flow location, followed by the injection of the epidural steroid solution.
Depending on the condition and symptoms being treated, the epidural steroid injections may be inserted at different locations. The most common ESIs are cervical and lumbar. Cervical injections are administered just above the nerve root to relieve pain in the neck or arms. Lumbar injections are administered a nerve canal in the back to relieve lower back and and leg pain.
Pain relief effects last for 3 months on average. It’s important to schedule follow-up appointments with your spine specialist at Rolling Hills Medical to discuss efficacy of treatment and whether or not to schedule additional injections.
Contact the Spine Experts at Rolling Hills Medical
For more information on spinal stenosis or to schedule a consultation with one of our spinal specialists and spine surgeons, contact Rolling Hills Medical in Torrance. Our team of experienced spine experts can help you find the appropriate treatment, either surgical or non-surgical, for your spinal stenosis. Call us today at 424-250-8699 to get