Riding a bicycle and performing other exercises with spinal stenosis

If you are an avid bicyclist or an exercise aficionado of any kind, the last thing you want to hear from your physician is that the neck pain, back pain or other symptoms that you’ve developed are the result of an incurable degenerative condition like spinal stenosis. You might think that because you have taken steps to stay in good physical condition, you have reduced the potential for the kind of age-related abnormalities that typically begin to affect people in their middle years. Yet, there is no prevention method that can be considered 100 percent effective for eliminating the possibility that you will develop degenerative spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal canal. Even those who keep themselves in top physical condition are potentially susceptible.

Work with your physician on a treatment plan

If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, the first thing you and your physician did, in all likelihood, was begin to develop a treatment plan, and chances are that plan included some form of exercise and stretching. Even if the discomfort of your spinal stenosis is making you want to avoid strenuous physical activity, it is extremely important not to settle into an inactive lifestyle, because inactivity could lead to even more physical problems. This is especially true for people whose lives have been influenced heavily by exercises like bike riding or running. Suddenly stopping all exercise might have an adverse effect on your ability to burn off calories and could result in unhealthy weight gain — which can lead to even more back problems.

Moderation is key

That said, until you have been cleared by a physician or physical therapist to return to your regular exercise program, there is a chance that your exercise habits will need to be modified, at least for a while. Excessive physical activity can worsen the underlying causes of the pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness associated with nerve compression from stenosis. Even though spinal stenosis does not always produce painful symptoms, it can happen if the narrowing is adjacent to a spinal nerve root or the spinal cord. You may need to first begin a less strenuous exercise program prescribed by your physician, and after doing this plan regularly your physician may then approve a return to bike riding and other exercises.

To find out more about what can and should not be done after a spinal stenosis diagnosis, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our knowledgeable team will provide you with information about your condition and our minimally invasive procedures. Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis to treat patients with spinal stenosis and other degenerative spine conditions. Contact us today to learn if you are a candidate for our procedures.

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