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Spine Surgery Guide

Alternative Treatments for Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to a medical condition in which the spinal cord narrows, causing pinched nerves.

There are many reasons for spinal stenosis, including arthritis and degenerative disc disease, and it is estimated that over 400,0000 are affected by spinal stenosis. The vast majority of diagnoses are in those 60 years of age and older.
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Functions of Alternative Treatments

While each of the alternatives treatments is similar in their attempts to relieve pain and pressure, they function in different ways. Acupuncture involves using pressure points to relieve pain. Acupuncture focuses on pressure points related to the bones and nerves. These pressure points include meridians in the kidney and bladder, which are parallel to the spine.

Chiropractic manipulation re-adjusts the spine, and may actually help to relieve pressure on the pinched nerves so may provide the best long term cure of all the alternative therapies. Chiropractors either realign the spine, or use ultrasound stimulation to help relieve symptoms. This does not make use of pressure points, but instead focuses on readjusting the spine which is causing the pressure.

Swedish massage uses deep tissue therapy to help to relieve pain. Swedish massage does not cure spinal stenosis but is designed as a pain management technique. Massages range from light massage (effleurage) to deep cross friction massages which focus on deep tissue massage.

Effectiveness of Alternative Treatments

According to Your Orthopedic Connection, these alternative and homeopathic remedies may be able to provide temporary relief of symptoms and pain associated with spinal stenosis. However, Your Orthopedic Connection cautions that these alternative treatments cannot cure spinal stenosis, as the treatments do not resolve the underlying tension on the nerves.
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This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient.
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