Recovering from spinal stenosis is certainly possible after successful treatment, but it is never a certainty, even when targeted care is perfectly delivered. Stenosis can be difficult to treat, and even when treatment does indeed resolve the stenotic changes in the central canal, permanent damage may have already been perpetrated against the affected nerve structures. This lasting trauma may be due to the actual neurological compression or may be a direct result of surgical treatment to resolve the stenosis.
This article details the recovery process for patients with central stenosis and offers some helpful tips that may help improve the odds for a return to a normal life after surgery or noninvasive treatment. Furthermore, we will discuss why some patients might never recover, despite their best efforts.
Recovering from Spinal Stenosis Without Treatment
Truly symptomatic versions of stenosis will not likely improve without targeted care. This is statistical fact. Most stenosis is caused by permanent alteration of the interior of the spinal canal, such as those changes enacted by the osteoarthritic process. This rule does not necessarily apply to transitory cases of stenosis that might be caused by a bulging disc or other soft tissue concern, such as ligamentous hypertrophy. In some instances, these types of stenosis problems might get better without any care.
For conditions that do not improve naturally, through time alone, it is virtually impossible for a patient to recover, unless they seek professional medical attention to remedy the constricted canal space. In essence, a recovery is extremely unlikely to occur, unless the patient is being proactive in seeking indicated therapy for what truly ails them.
Spinal Stenosis Recovery Without Surgery
Some fortunate patients are able to resolve severe canal impingement, without having to face the ordeal of spinal surgery. A few of these patients might find lasting cures through chiropractic, especially if they are affected by intervertebral disc-related canal impingement. Most of these patients, who can find lasting relief, will do so using spinal decompression, once again for mostly disc-related stenosis issues. Regardless of how relief is enacted, patients who do not have to face surgery should recover quickly and completely, as long as no permanent neurological trauma has been suffered.
A few patients might require extensive physical therapy, in order to regain lost functional ability, particularly if they have been disabled by stenosis for a long time already.
Recovering from Spinal Stenosis After Surgery
Surgical cures for spinal stenosis are not only possible; they are actually some of the most frequently-enacted for any back or neck pain diagnosis. This is very good news for patients who decide to face the surgical trial with the hope of regaining a normal and pain-free life.
Surgery typically involves laminectomy, possible discectomy and sometimes,spinal fusion to complete. These are all very damaging and traumatic procedures for the body to endure. However, if the stenosis can be eliminated, the patient should have a good chance of making a full recovery. Once again, as long as no lasting neurological deficits have been created by the stenosis, or the operation, then recovery should merely take time and effort. Physical therapy is virtually always needed after a spinal stenosis operation and will definitely prove useful in getting any patients moving about safely and comfortably.
One caution for patients who have undergone a back or neck procedure: Please be wary of the powerful pain medications that you will probably receive postoperatively. These drugs are toxic and addictive. They can, and do, cause bigger problems than the stenosis itself in many patients, so treat them with the respect they deserve and do everything possible to reduce your need for their use as soon as humanly possible.