Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within the spine, putting pressure on the nerves, which can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the back, arms, or legs.

Spinal Stenosis, a condition that can make every step a challenge, every movement a calculated risk, profoundly impacts your life. Whether it's the persistent pain, the numbness, or the balance issues, each symptom is a stark reminder of the condition's presence. At Painless, we intimately understand the complex web of emotions and discomfort you grapple with, and we're here to provide you with both the medical support and emotional resilience needed to face this condition.

Our team, both skilled and compassionate, recognises the unwavering courage you embody each day as you negotiate with the difficulties of Spinal Stenosis. Each pain, each moment of unease, each symptom that you experience is unique to you, and so should be your care. In our partnership, we see you as a co-author in your journey towards relief. Together, we strive to create a care plan that responds to your unique needs and aims to return control of your life back into your hands, away from the influence of Spinal Stenosis.


The basics

Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by a narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the arms or legs. It commonly affects older adults and is often associated with degenerative changes in the spine.

Mild cases may be managed with physical therapy, pain medications, and activity modifications, while more severe cases may require surgery. With appropriate treatment, many individuals with spinal stenosis can manage their symptoms and maintain an active lifestyle. However, if left untreated, spinal stenosis can lead to progressive nerve damage and disability.

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The presentation of spinal stenosis can vary depending on the location and severity of the narrowing in the spinal canal. Some individuals may experience no symptoms at all, while others may have significant pain and functional limitations, including:

  • Back, neck, or leg pain that may be worse with standing or walking and relieved with sitting or leaning forward
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, or buttocks
  • Muscle weakness in the arms or legs
  • Loss of balance or difficulty walking
  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction (in severe cases)
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Therapies & treatments


Physiotherapy can help alleviate spinal stenosis symptoms by improving strength, flexibility, and mobility. A physiotherapist can develop a personalized exercise plan to address your specific needs, as well as provide manual therapy, traction, and other modalities to help relieve pain and promote healing.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

An occupational therapist can help individuals with spinal stenosis to develop strategies to manage daily activities that may exacerbate their symptoms. They can also assist with modifications to the home or work environment to improve ergonomics and reduce pain. Additionally, they can provide guidance on the use of assistive devices, such as braces or mobility aids, to improve function and reduce pain.


Various medications may be prescribed to alleviate the pain associated with spinal stenosis, including pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants. A pain specialist can work with you to tailor your medication strategy.

Muscle Relaxants

Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine or baclofen may be prescribed to help alleviate muscle spasms and associated pain.


Antidepressant medications such as duloxetine or amitriptyline may be prescribed to help alleviate chronic pain associated with spinal stenosis. These medications can also help improve mood and sleep.


Some anti-seizure medications such as gabapentin or pregabalin may be prescribed to help alleviate nerve pain associated with spinal stenosis.

Epidural Injections

Epidural injections are a minimally invasive treatment option that involves injecting a corticosteroid medication into the epidural space around the spinal cord. This can help to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain associated with spinal stenosis.

Pulsed Radiofrequency

Pulsed Radiofrequency (PRF) is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat chronic pain associated with spinal stenosis. PRF involves the use of electrical stimulation to target specific nerves that are responsible for transmitting pain signals. During the procedure, a small needle is inserted into the affected area and an electrical current is delivered to the targeted nerve. This can help to disrupt the pain signals and provide relief from symptoms. PRF is considered a safe and effective treatment option for individuals with spinal stenosis who have not responded well to other treatments, and it has been shown to provide long-lasting pain relief.

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Self-care strategies

Exercise regularly

Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling can help improve mobility and strength without exacerbating spinal stenosis symptoms.

Maintain a healthy weight

Excess weight can place added pressure on the spine, exacerbating spinal stenosis symptoms. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help alleviate symptoms.

Practice good posture

Maintaining good posture can help reduce pressure on the spine and alleviate spinal stenosis symptoms. This includes sitting up straight and avoiding slouching or hunching over.

Use assistive devices

Assistive devices such as a cane or walker can help support mobility and reduce pressure on the spine.

Apply heat or cold

Applying heat or cold to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. This can be done with a hot or cold pack or with a warm bath or shower.

Practice stress reduction techniques

Stress can exacerbate pain symptoms, so practicing stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help manage spinal stenosis symptoms.

Get adequate rest

Getting enough sleep is crucial for managing pain and overall health and wellbeing. It’s important to practice good sleep hygiene, such as avoiding screens before bed and keeping a consistent sleep schedule.

Manage pain with over-the-counter medications

Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate pain associated with spinal stenosis. It’s important to follow the recommended dosage and speak with a healthcare provider before taking any new medications.

Advocate for yourself

Being an active participant in your own healthcare and advocating for your needs can help ensure that you receive the care and support you need. Learn about your condition, ask questions, and communicate openly with your healthcare providers to ensure that your needs are being met.

Join a support group

Connecting with others who have similar experiences can be helpful in managing spinal stenosis symptoms. Joining a support group can provide emotional support and practical tips for managing symptoms.

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Spinal Stenosis

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