Of course, it's best to initially use a non-surgical approach to treating and managing spinal stenosis. The following may be helpful:
- NSAIDS will reduce pain and inflammation. However, NSAIDS have side effects, and taking increasing doses will not treat the pain better. For this reason, it is best to carefully consider the use of NSAIDS in cases of severe pain. Also, overuse of NSAIDs can cause kidney damage.
- Analgesics such as Tylenol can reduce pain but not inflammation. Overuse of analgesics can cause liver damage and drinking alcohol while taking analgesics can amplify these side effects.
- Supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine, may be helpful, but the jury is still out on how these affect spinal arthritis.
- Rest and restricted activity with a gradual return is a common sense way to improve symptoms. Walking and biking are good bets for workouts.
- Physical therapy that builds the strength and endurance of spinal muscles.
- Back support belts may help.
- Epidural injections might reduce inflammation and pain. Over the long term, injections have strong side effects.
- The X-Stop is a new device that can be implanted into the spine of certain types of spinal stenosis patients. It helps to relieve symptoms by limiting how far back you are able to arch. Recent research show, however, that the X-Stop is not for everyone. In particular, if you have spondylolisthesis, you should not try the X-Stop.