Stenosis comes from the Greek word that means "choking," or a narrowing of a passageway in the body. When referring to spinal stenosis, this narrowing occurs in the spinal cord. Patients with the condition will experience pain in the neck and back due to the compression of the nerves in the spinal canal. In some instances, this pain can radiate through the arms and legs.
A lumbar laminectomy is one of the most common procedures used to alleviate pain and improve mobility in patients with spinal stenosis. When following the doctor's orders during recovery, 70 to 80 percent of patients see an improvement in their pain and mobility issues. Unfortunately, the surgery is an invasive one, so you may prefer to manage your pain in a non-surgical manner. If you are currently living with spinal stenosis, consider one or more of these tips to reduce your pain.
Before beginning any exercise program, be sure to consult your doctor for approval. Exercise is a holistic option for boosting your endorphins, which improves your mood, while strengthening your bones, muscles, and joints, but it can cause further damage without medical supervision.
Here are a few stretches, safe to do at home, that will reduce your spinal pain:
- Back Flex – Lie flat on your back and pull both knees up to your chest. Hold your knees in place for 30 seconds before releasing slowly. Repeat a few times per day.
- Back Curl – Get on your hands and knees on the floor. Carefully curl your back up and down, keeping your hands and knees flat on the floor. Complete the back curl a few times per day.
Both the flexing and curling of your back will reduce tension in your spinal cord, alleviating the discomfort that stems from your stenosis.
Hydrotherapy centers on the use of water to treat a variety of physical and emotional conditions. From chronic pain and headaches to stress and anxiety, hydrotherapy is an effective, non-invasive option to consider.
Hydrotherapy triggers your brain to release endorphins, which are proven to improve your mood and pain levels. In addition, the holistic treatment will increase your body's blood circulation. This reduces inflammation and pain in your spinal cord.
Soaking in a warm bath, taking a hot shower, or relaxing in a sauna or hot tub are all versions of hydrotherapy.
Living with spinal stenosis is possible without pain and surgery. Many people are able to manage their spinal stenosis pain without surgery using exercise and hydrotherapy. To learn if these options are right for you, ask your doctor about spine rehab for your spinal stenosis.