Spinal stenosis — at-home treatment options to relieve spinal stenosis pain
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 and at-home exercise and stretches to help alleviate your pain.
Before you begin a new exercise routine for the purpose of treating your spinal stenosis, consult your physician. You and your physician can collaborate to create a plan that fits your needs and your lifestyle. You can also update your physician with your progress and notify him/her if any of the exercises cause you discomfort or if your pain worsens.
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 the majority 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.
In order to alleviate the pressure on your spinal canal, it is necessary to lower you weight and body mass. Low-impact cardiovascular activity can help promote a healthy weight while not aggravating your spinal stenosis. Exercises such as walking, biking on pavement or stationary 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 alleviate pain from spinal stenosis and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Try these stretches to lengthen the spine and relieve the pressure of your spine on your spinal canal.
- Knee to chest — Lie on your back with the heels of your feet on the floor. Slowly bend your right knee 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. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
- 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.
If you have tried at-home treatments for your spinal stenosis without success, learn about the minimally invasive, outpatient surgeries performed at Laser Spine Institute. Our procedures are safer and effective alternatives to open spine surgery. Please contact us to learn if you are a candidate for surgery at Laser Spine Institute.