There may be alternatives to laminectomy, depending on your condition.
Many back and neck problems, even ones with obvious mechanical causes, like spinal stenosis, improve without surgical treatment. Because improvement from flare-ups can happen spontaneously, waiting it out may be a good option if your symptoms are still manageable.
There are a several alternative nonsurgical procedures and methods you can try first in consultation with your doctor.
Things you can do yourself
There are several things you can do yourself to help relieve symptoms of spinal stenosis. They include short rest, learning to do things differently so that you avoid pain, a program of exercise, losing weight (if you need to), using a TENS machine, mindful meditation and using hot and cold packs. Complete bed rest is no longer recommended for most types of back pain. Learn more about things you can do yourself.
Several medications can be used to help reduce the symptoms associated with spinal stenosis. While they may relieve pain, they don’t address the actual cause. Some of them are only available with a prescription. Some can be used on a regular basis, while others are only suitable for short-term flare-ups. The main types of medication for back pain are painkillers, antispasmodics, antidepressants, and steroid injections. Learn more about medications.
Advice from the experts
Back and neck problems are so common and difficult to treat that medical professionals have developed several different ways of managing them.
Your GP can help you with medication, imaging and referrals to physiotherapists, occupational therapists, specialist doctors and surgeons.
Many people also seek independent advice from chiropractors, osteopaths, acupuncturists, massage therapists and psychologists. Learn more about how health professionals can help.
Less invasive interventions
There are a few less invasive interventions that can help with back symptoms, including a pain management program, neurotomy, a spinal cord stimulator, an intrathecal pain pump and more. Learn more about non-surgical interventions.