What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a degenerative spinal condition associated with narrowing of the spinal canal. This is normally associated with ageing.
Is Surgery or Physiotherapy Best for Spinal Stenosis?
Research by Zaina et al. (2016) compared the effectiveness of different types of surgical interventions compared to non-surgical rehabilitation based interventions. The authors concluded that “We have very little confidence to conclude whether surgical treatment or a conservative approach is better for lumbar spinal stenosis”. They did mention that the rate of side effects ranged from 10% to 24% in surgical cases, and no side effects were reported for any conservative treatment.
Given that no clear benefits were derived from surgical interventions when compared with non-surgical the authors report that “clinicians should be very careful in informing patients about possible treatment options, especially given that conservative treatment options have resulted in no reported side effects.”
Ref: Zaina et al. (2016). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Jan 29;(1):CD010264. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010264.pub2. Surgical versus non-surgical treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis.
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