What exercises can you perform with cervical spinal stenosis?

If you’ve been diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis, it doesn’t mean you have to completely give up your fitness routine. While the exact activities recommended for your fitness regimen will depend on the severity of your condition and symptoms, there are many things you can do to maintain your health without worsening your condition.

Ask your physician about these activities

Check with your physician to find out if any of the following lower-intensity activities might be appropriate for you:

  • Walking. The perfect start to a new fitness plan, walking provides exercise without much of the intensity and impact that can aggravate spinal stenosis.
  • Stretching. Loosening up the muscles in your neck, shoulders and back can relieve some of the pressure on your cervical spine, which can in turn reduce symptoms caused by this pressure.
  • Swimming. Although the type and intensity of swimming you perform depends on your condition, even just treading water is a good way to burn extra calories, and the water lets you move easily without the jarring impact of many sports like running.
  • Rest. It might seem counterintuitive, but having “rest” days between workouts gives your body time to recover and allows you to get the most out of your workouts when you do perform them.
  • Gardening. Gardening can be an exceptionally enjoyable and productive way to keep fit. While it’s important to avoid lifting heavy objects, light activities like planting flowers and pruning can help you work up a sweat without aggravating your symptoms.
  • Strength training. With cervical spinal stenosis, symptoms usually manifest in the neck, shoulders, upper back and arms. However, you might be able to still work your lower body and core, depending on how severe your condition is.

Learn more

For more information and tips on staying fit with cervical spinal stenosis, or to learn about the minimally invasive spine surgeries we perform to address this condition, contact us. We offer several procedures to treat spinal stenosis that are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery.^ Our knowledgeable team offers a free MRI review* that can help determine if you’re a candidate for our procedures.

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