Munson Health
Spinal Stenosis

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by Keel JC


Treatments include:


Physical Therapy

Special exercises can help stabilize the spinal cord. Exercise can increase muscle endurance and mobility of the spine. This can relieve some pain. Sometimes exercises are ineffective against spinal stenosis.

Support Devices

Wearing a corset or lumbar brace can help stabilize the spine. This may relieve pain.


Surgery is reserved for severe cases.
  • Decompression laminectomy —This is the removal of bony spurs or increased bone mass in the spinal canal. This can free up space for the nerves and the spinal cord.
  • Spinal fusion —This is when two vertebrae (back bones) are fused together. This will provide stronger support for the spine. This is almost always done after decompression laminectomy.


American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Arthritis Foundation



The Arthritis Society

Canadian Orthopaedic Association



American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: . Accessed July 7, 2009.

Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: . Accessed July 7, 2009.

Berkow R. The Merck Manual of Medical Information . Home Edition. New York, NY: Merck Research Laboratories; 1999.

Questions & answers about spinal stenosis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: . Published April 2009. Accessed July 7, 2009.

12/17/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance de Schepper El, Overdevest GM, et al. Diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis: an updated systematic review of the accuracy of diagnostic tests. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 Apr 15;38(8):E469-81.


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