What Treatments Are Available for Spinal Stenosis?

What Treatments Are Available for Spinal Stenosis?

Navigating your spinal health can be overwhelming, especially if you’re dealing with a condition like spinal stenosis. At Pain Management Specialist in Rockville and Frederick, Maryland, we believe in empowering our patients with knowledge about their conditions and the available treatment options. 

Spinal stenosis, which is a condition characterized by a narrowing of the space within the spine, often leads to significant pain due to the pressure it places on the nerves. So, what treatment options are available for this challenging condition? Keep reading to learn some of the most common approaches to treating spinal stenosis. 

Understanding spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis primarily affects the lower back and neck. Symptoms can include pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and problems with bladder or bowel function. In extreme cases, it can significantly impact an individual's quality of life.

Though some individuals are born with a small spinal canal, most cases of spinal stenosis develop due to conditions that reduce the available space within the spine. Causes include the overgrowth of bone tissue, herniated disks, tumors, spinal injuries, and thickened ligaments.

Treating spinal stenosis

When you see us, we perform a thorough evaluation and discuss your treatment options, which could include one or more of the following:

Epidural steroid injections

Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are often considered when other nonsurgical treatments don't provide sufficient relief. This treatment involves injecting a potent anti-inflammatory medication (corticosteroid) directly into the epidural space surrounding the affected nerves in your spine. This space is filled with blood vessels, and it's the area through which your nerves travel from your spinal cord to the rest of your body.

ESIs work by reducing inflammation and swelling of the nerves in the epidural space, which, in turn, reduces pain, numbness, tingling, and other symptoms caused by nerve inflammation, irritation, and swelling. 

Although ESIs are not a cure for spinal stenosis, this treatment can control and manage the pain effectively. They can be repeated up to three times a year, offering patients a nonsurgical treatment option for pain relief.

Radiofrequency ablation

Considered a breakthrough in managing chronic pain, radiofrequency ablation involves the precise application of heat to specific nerve tissues. This heat disrupts the transmission of pain signals from that area to the brain, thus reducing or eliminating the pain.

To conduct the procedure, your provider uses X-ray imaging to direct a small needle to the area responsible for the pain. A radiofrequency current is then passed through an electrode in the needle, which heats the surrounding tissues. 

This procedure is often performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and mild sedation. The entire process usually takes 30-90 minutes, and most patients can return home the same day. Recovery time is usually minimal.


Neuromodulation is akin to creating a "roadblock" in the path of pain signals traveling to the brain. It utilizes a small device, similar to a pacemaker, implanted under your skin. This device sends mild electrical signals to the spinal cord or specific nerves to interrupt the pain signals with the goal of reducing or eliminating the pain.

In a typical neuromodulation treatment, your provider will first conduct a trial to see if the procedure effectively reduces your pain.

Minimally invasive lumbar decompression 

Minimally invasive lumbar decompression is a treatment that removes excess tissue to restore space in the spinal canal. During a MILD® procedure, a specialized instrument is inserted through a tiny incision in your back to remove small pieces of bone and other tissue with the goal of alleviating the nerve compression.

This outpatient procedure is done under live imaging to ensure accuracy, and because it's minimally invasive, it comes with a lower risk for complications and a shorter recovery time.

Effective treatments for spinal stenosis

At Pain Management Specialist, we understand that each patient's experience with spinal stenosis is unique. If you're struggling with spinal stenosis, there’s hope. Our team is here to provide support and guide you through your journey to improved spinal health. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Pain Management Specialist today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

4 Reasons Medication is Appropriate for Your Pain

Millions of Americans experience pain, and it can have a detrimental impact on your quality of life. There are various approaches to managing pain, including medication, so you need an expert to put together the right treatment plan.
How Neuromodulation Relieves Chronic Pain

How Neuromodulation Relieves Chronic Pain

It can feel discouraging when traditional pain management treatments fail to provide adequate relief. Fortunately, innovative treatments such as neuromodulation may be an option for finally getting the relief you need.

Can Exercise Help My Chronic Pain?

The impact of chronic pain often causes those living with it to reduce physical activity. However, the right exercise regimen can help you ease chronic pain and feel better throughout your day.

What We Know Now About the Dangers of Opioids

Pain, whether it lingers persistently, or strikes sharply as a sudden episode, is a challenge that millions of people in the US contend with daily. Finding an effective and safe pain management solution is key.