Conservative Pain Management for Back Pain and Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar (lower back) or cervical (neck) areas of the spine. The bones of the spine (the vertebrae) start from the skull and continue down to the pelvis to create a tunnel that contains the spinal cord and the spinal nerve roots. The spinal canal itself is made from an opening in the back of each vertebra. The narrowing of the spinal canal causes pressure on the spinal cord and on the nerves of the spine, leading to back pain and other disabling symptoms.

Spinal stenosis is most often associated with arthritis; herniated discs; trauma to the nerve roots or the spinal cord; degeneration due to aging; or poor posture over time. This condition usually presents as pain in the back, thighs, calves, neck, or shoulders and arms as well as weakness in the extremities. Severe cases of spinal stenosis might also cause balance issues and bowel and bladder dysfunction.

When back pain of any kind occurs, it is advisable to seek treatment as soon as possible. For cases of back pain related to spinal stenosis, symptoms gradually worsen over time; the sooner the causative factor is addressed, the better the prognosis.

Medical Care/Pain Management for Spinal Stenosis

A Physiatrist is a specialist in pain management and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. This type of doctor is concerned with the non-surgical treatment of painful conditions such as those that can cause spinal stenosis. For example, the pain management specialist at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation would first work with our Physical Therapy department, acupuncturist, massage therapist, and Chiropractic Doctors to resolve painful disorders and restore functionality.

When patients with spinal stenosis are unresponsive to conservative treatments, or when pain restricts the ability to take advantage of non-invasive practices, a pain management doctor may use Epidural Steroid Injections to reduce inflammation and pain. This strategy is aimed at helping patients find pain relief so that a more moderate approach can be used.

By using a combination of a corticosteroid with a local anesthetic, Epidural Steroid Injections reduce inflammation and pain. This medicine is injected in the space around the spinal cord and nerve roots—this is known as the epidural space. When a local anesthetic is used, patients can experience immediate pain relief; corticosteroids have a strong, long-lasting anti-inflammatory effect.

Relief from Back Pain at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation

Patients with back pain often face a stressful and confusing treatment process. This generally involves visits to a medical doctor, as well as separate offices for physical therapy, chiropractic care, and/or acupuncture. Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation is changing this treatment model by offering medical care, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care in one location. Please contact our Monmouth County pain management office if you are experiencing back pain or if you suspect you are suffering from spinal stenosis.