Spinal stenosis exercises for pain relief
If your life has been put on hold because of pain from spinal stenosis, finding relief that can get you back to doing the things you love — whether that means golf or gardening — is very important. While medication might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about pain relief, there are a wide range of options that are effective. An exercise program, followed with the guidance of your doctor, can be a great way to relieve the painful symptoms of spinal stenosis. This is because exercising can strengthen important supporting muscles in the back, which can help take pressure off the spine and potentially relieve nerve compression.
The best exercises to treat spinal stenosis pain
Always undertake any therapeutic exercise plan while partnering with your primary care doctor or physical therapist. While there are many benefits to these activities, there is a risk of worsening your spinal stenosis symptoms through improper movement or overexertion. The following kinds of exercises are commonly recommended to relieve painful neck or back symptoms:
- Light aerobics. This can include exercises like water aerobics, walking and cycling to improve cardiovascular health, relieve stress and strengthen muscles.
- Yoga. Deep breathing and poses associated with yoga can both stretch and strengthen your back and neck.
- Pilates. Dynamic, but still light, movement that focuses on building a strong core.
- Physical therapy exercises. Physical therapy includes specially designed exercises to target painful areas and strengthen supporting muscles.
In addition to potentially relieving nerve compression through strengthening muscles, exercising can help achieve weight-loss goals, relieve stress and improve heart health.
Other treatment options
Exercise can be combined with a full range of conservative spinal stenosis treatments. Work with your doctor to develop a plan that is best for your needs. While many patients dealing with spinal stenosis pain can find effective relief with exercise and other nonsurgical options, sometimes weeks and months can go by and symptoms either do not improve or they worsen. At this point you may be referred to a spine specialist to discuss surgery.
For more details about spinal stenosis and what treatments may be right for you, visit our spinal stenosis treatments page. If exercises and other conservative treatments do not relieve your symptoms and your doctor wants you to consider open back surgery, learn more about the minimally invasive procedures offered by Laser Spine Institute. Contact us today to learn more about our minimally invasive outpatient procedures that are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery.^
We can provide a no-cost review of your MRI* to help you determine whether you are a candidate for one of our procedures.