If your spinal stenosis is mild, Mayo Clinic specialists may recommend:
- Physical therapy. Mayo Clinic physical therapists work with you to strengthen your back and stomach muscles and to increase your spine's flexibility.
- Therapeutic massage.
- Medication. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can reduce pain and swelling. Cortisone injected next to your spine can reduce swelling of the spinal nerves and nerve roots. Relief is usually temporary, so you may need steroid injections more than once a year.
Mayo Clinic specialists may recommend surgery if your spinal stenosis is severe or hasn't responded to other treatments. Some people are candidates for minimally invasive surgery, which can result in less pain and quicker recovery than traditional surgery.
Mayo Clinic specialists perform these surgeries for spinal stenosis:
- Laminectomy (decompression). The back part of the affected vertebrae (lamina) is removed, creating more room in your spinal canal and restoring normal blood flow to the nerves. Some decompression surgery can be done in two hours, and you can go home the same day.
- Laminoplasty. Similar to laminectomy, this procedure requires less bone removal and preserves the spine's range of movement.
- Spinal fusion. Two or more vertebrae are connected.
Read more about spinal stenosis treatment and laminectomy at MayoClinic.com.