Spinal Stenosis

At the Swedish Neuroscience Institute, we specialize in treating spinal stenosis.  This degenerative spine disease involves the narrowing of the spinal canal, which then squeezes the spinal cord and nerves. Spinal stenosis is most common in people over 50 years old. Although it can be caused by a variety of things, stenosis is frequently the result of aging and arthritis.

There are two types of spinal stenosis:

  • Cervical stenosis, which occurs when the spinal cord and nerves in the neck are squeezed
  • Lumbar stenosis, which occurs when the spinal cord and nerves in the lower back are squeezed

If you have cervical stenosis, you may feel pain, numbness and tingling in the neck and arms. This can lead to difficulty using your hands and may affect your balance and ability to walk. 

If you have lumbar stenosis, this typically affects the low back and legs. Symptoms include pain and discomfort when standing and walking.


Conservative Care

Your treatment will depend on your particular condition. In most cases, we’d recommend starting with conservative care. This non-surgical approach can treat pain effectively and help patients maintain their current level of activity and quality of life. Your treatment plan may include physical therapy, massage therapy, aquatics, epidural steroid injections, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment and other methods of pain management. We offer multiple resources to assist with conservative care, including consultations with physiatrists (doctors who specialize in sports medicine) and pain management specialists.


If your symptoms persist or you’ve tried conservative care for more than six weeks with no improvement, laminectomy may be recommended. During this procedure, a surgeon removes the lamina, a bone at the back of each vertebra, from the affected part of the spine. This helps relieve pressure on your spinal cord or a spinal nerve.

Your treatment plan will be tailored to your particular condition, physical exam and imaging studies.

To have a spinal condition assessed by a Swedish spine specialist, schedule a consultation online or call 206-320-BACK (2225).

What are the treatment options for cervical spine disease?