Both osteoarthritis of the spine and spinal stenosis can be treated with surgery if non-surgical treatments have been ineffective and the conditions have worsened. Surgery alleviates the pain in the lower back, prevents the conditions from becoming debilitating and, in the case of spinal stenosis, gives the nerves room to heal.
Medication such as pain killers, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants can be prescribed to manage the symptoms. In extreme cases, corticosteroids or short courses of opioids can also be prescribed.
In most cases, some form of physical therapy and exercise will be part of the treatment process. These treatments are not a cure. They help patients to manage the pain in the lower back and prevent further debilitation from degenerating conditions and inactivity.