Spinal stenosis treatment options for relief
If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, you understand the difficulty of performing your daily activities with chronic neck or back pain. Before seeking surgical treatment for your spinal stenosis, you should exhaust all possible conservative treatment options, such as physical therapy as well as at-home exercise and stretches to help ease your pain.
Before you begin a new exercise routine for the purpose of treating your spinal stenosis, consult your doctor. You can collaborate to create a plan that fits your needs and your lifestyle. You can also update your doctor with your progress and notify him or her if any of the exercises cause you discomfort or if your pain worsens. To learn about various low-impact exercises and stretches you can try to relieve your condition, read the following article.
Low-impact cardiovascular exercise for spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis caused by age and lifestyle can be treated with a routine of low-impact cardiovascular exercise. This type of spinal stenosis is typically located in the lumbar (lower back) portion of the spine. The lumbar spine is responsible for supporting most of the body’s weight, while still allowing the spine to bend and move.
As you age and increase in weight, the components of the lumbar spine, such as the vertebrae and discs, become compressed by the added weight and continual movements or bad posture. When these components start to gradually degenerate, the space in the spinal canal begins to narrow, causing you to suffer from spinal stenosis.
To ease the pressure on your spinal canal, it is necessary to lower your weight and body mass. Low-impact cardiovascular activity can help promote a healthy weight while not worsening your spinal stenosis. Exercises such as walking, biking, swimming and elliptical training offer great cardiovascular benefits without adding pressure to your spinal canal.
Stretches for spinal stenosis
Stretches are a great way to relieve pain from spinal stenosis and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Try these stretches to lengthen the spine and ease the pressure on your spinal canal.
- Knee to chest. Lie on your back with the heels of your feet on the floor. Slowly bend your right leg until your knee is pointing to the ceiling. Clasp your hands behind your knee and gently pull your knee toward your chest as far as you can. Leave your left leg flat on the floor. Slowly release your right knee and return your heel to the floor. Repeat with your left leg 10 times for each leg.
- Back stretch. Stand upright with your hands resting on your hips. Slowly, bend backward until you reach your limit. Hold this position and feel the stretch along your spine. Slowly return to the initial standing position. Repeat three times.
- Hook-lying alternate legs. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat and hip-width apart. Contract your abdominal muscles by bringing your belly button down to the spine and your right knee up toward your chest. Lift your leg a couple of inches, hold for three seconds, then lower your leg and relax. Then repeat this exercise on your left leg five to 10 times for each leg.
If you have tried at-home treatments for your spinal stenosis without success, learn about the minimally invasive surgeries performed at Laser Spine Institute. Our procedures are safer and effective alternatives to open spine surgery.^ Please reach out to us today and ask for a free MRI review* to learn if you are a candidate for surgery at Laser Spine Institute.
As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute has performed more than 100,000 patient procedures since 2005. Our spinal stenosis surgery is performed using small incisions that are muscle sparing, allowing for a lower risk of infection and surgical blood loss compared to traditional open spine surgery.^ Contact us to learn more about the advantages of our outpatient procedures. We can help guide you on your journey to wellness.