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How is lumbar spinal stenosis treated?

Treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back, may depend on the cause of the condition, how long you have had it and how much pain you are experiencing from it. The lumbar spine houses the nerves that extend down into your legs. The narrowing caused by stenosis can put pressure on those nerves, causing pain that may extend from the lower back down the legs, as well as possible numbness and even loss of bladder or bowel control and difficulty walking.

If your pain is mild and you haven't experienced it for long, your doctor may recommend rest as well as exercise and physical therapy to strengthen your back and improve your posture as an initial treatment. Your doctor may also prescribe pain medication to relieve your pain, and/or give you cortisone injections to reduce swelling, soreness and pain.

If you have more severe or long-lasting pain, problems with bowel or bladder control or problems with walking, your doctor may recommend surgery to open up the spinal canal and relieve the pressure on your nerves. The surgery may require a few days in the hospital, possibly followed by physical therapy to aid in your recovery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.