The most common first-step treatment is physical therapy. Emphasis is placed on strengthening the weakened muscles of the back, stretching the tighter muscles and improving posture. By better supporting the spine, symptoms of nerve compression may be improved.
Most non-surgical treatments for spinal stenosis aim to relieve pain and restore function. In severe cases of spinal stenosis, surgical decompression of the spine may be the better option.
Spinal stenosis (or narrowing) is a common condition that occurs in aging when the small spinal canal containing the nerve roots and spinal cord, becomes compressed usually due to age related degenerative changes. This causes a "pinching" of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots, leading to pain, cramping, weakness or numbness. If this occurs in the cervical spine, this could also lead to more serious difficulties with gait changes, spasticity, bowel and bladder dysfunction, or other concerns.
An injection of cortisone into the space outside the dura (the epidural space) can temporarily relieve symptoms of spinal stenosis for the mild to moderate cases but may not be effective in the more severe cases of stenosis.