Essentially, surgery is never good news if the condition you’re suffering from can be corrected using home-based therapy. Cervical spinal stenosis is a medical condition that affects about one in a hundred thousand people. It is characterized by intense back and lower abdomen pain and general weakness in the lower part of the body. Back pain, which is the main symptom of this condition, is often confused with fatigue. Additionally, most people wrongly assume that resting is the best remedy to overcome lower back pain. Although resting may be a viable idea, physical exercises give a better chance of relieving the pain. In this guide, we are going to show you cervical spinal stenosis exercises that will enable you to enjoy life like everyone else.
Symptoms and diagnosis
The first sign that someone has cervical spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spine at the neck region. However, it is usually noticed when there is intense pain in that region due to decompressed blood vessels. Old people are likely to develop the condition, although some children are also born with it. Additionally, people can develop cervical spinal stenosis after an accident or a medical procedure that changes the bone. The latter instances are quite rare but they must not be overlooked either.
See a therapist
You should start by seeing a therapist before commencing any exercises at home. Furthermore, they will help you diagnose the problem and suggest a course of treatment. Cervical spinal stenosis, unlike other spinal disorders, can be life-threatening if it goes unchecked. It is also worth noting that not all exercises will work for you. While most of them will help you in one or another, some will make things worse. A therapist or physician should be able to recommend exercises that are appropriate for your condition.
Cervical spinal stenosis exercises
Cervical spinal stenosis has long been thought to be an irreversible condition. However, there is growing evidence that certain exercises can ease the pain and enable you to live a healthy life. Below are some cervical spinal stenosis exercises that work.
1. Knee-Chest Stretches
This exercise helps flex the muscles in your lower back region and improves blood flow. Here are the steps to perform it.
- Lie on your back, your feet straight, hands on your sides
- Raise your knees to a sharp angle
- Hold them with each hand
- Pull your knees to your chest and release
- Repeat this about 20 times
2. Body Bridge Exercise
Bridge exercise helps strengthen back muscles. Here is the procedure:
- Lie on your back, hands on your sides
- Raise your knees slightly
- Lift your buttocks off the ground and hold it there
- Lower yourself and repeat the exercise for 10 rounds
3. Swimming Regularly
Swimming is a great cervical spinal stenosis exercise because it involves virtually every muscle on your back. Additionally, swimming eases stress and pain in your body, more so at the joints. If you can’t find a real swimming pool, you can do water exercises in your tub or any other place with enough water. By the time you’re done swimming, you will have improved endorphin flow to vital places like the spine, thus helping you manage cervical spinal stenosis. Note that a one-off water exercise may not help you achieve the results you desire. Make it a routine and treat it like any other form of exercise.
4. Free Weights
Contrary to what people think, free weights indeed help with back pain by strengthening the spine. However, you have to be careful not to load too much as this could put too much stress on your back muscles. It is highly recommended that you do free weights with a trainer or lifting partner. They will help you lift without putting too much stress on your back. It is not the number of weights you lift, rather it is the frequency of lifting, however small the weights are.
Cervical spinal stenosis exercises discussed above might not guarantee you good results 100 percent but they will go a long way in ensuring it doesn’t get worse. Most importantly, the exercises will be very helpful to people who don’t have the condition but are afraid because someone in their family has had it. The fact that cervical spinal stenosis affects older people is proof enough that it has something to do with inactivity. Note that there is no retirement when it comes to exercises, and you can always do them in the simplest ways possible. For instance, why would you take a car to the market if it is a walking distance? You can also choose to walk as little as a kilometer every evening, and you will have done more than someone that’s been sitting all day.
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