Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: Exercises to Relieve Pain
Are you suffering from low back, buttocks, or leg pain? Is it due to lumbar spinal stenosis? This condition is common among individuals 50 years old or older. You might be looking for ways on how to relieve pain. Exercises play a vital role in improving your condition and getting relief from this type of pain.
What is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?
Lumbar spinal stenosis is narrowing/squeezing the spinal canal, which results in compression of the nerves that travel in the lower back up to the legs. There are overall five vertebrae in the lower part of the spine. You can sense pain in the lower back, buttocks, or leg pain.
Some people having this condition may not feel any pain initially but gradually might suffer from pain. You can’t know and treat your disease or pain before knowing its symptoms. Among the common and prominent signs and symptoms of having lumbar spinal stenosis are as follows:
- Pain in the lower back (gradually becomes worse).
- Cramping in the calves while you are walking
- Pain, weakness, numbness, or cramping in one leg or in both legs, either when you stand for a longer period of time or when walking
- Pain may improve when your sitting, bending forward or while lying down
If you are having some of these symptoms, it’s time that you must undergo a thorough assessment and get the right diagnosis. It’s essential before getting an ideal treatment. And, if you are having this condition, a part of your treatment is having exercise. Below are the best exercises for this condition.
Please take note that before the exercise, it’s essential that you have consulted your doctor or therapists.
Top Exercise for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Lumbar spinal stenosis causes pain in to back up to your legs which weakens your lower body. This is why gentle exercises are important to keep you active and be able to strengthen your spine – helping you to alleviate the pain caused by this condition.
But in mind that you have to do exercises that are not painful. It should be light or gentle. And below are the exercises that can help your spine.
1. Pelvic tilt in Bridge Position Exercise
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Your abdominal muscles can benefit by doing a pelvic tilt – which is vital in building stability on your spine. While a bridge – can help your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.
- Start by lying flat on your back while your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Also, have your hip-width apart while having your arms in your sides.
- Then it’s time to lift up your pelvis until your upper body and thigh make a straight line.
- Next, it’s time to do the tilt in your pelvis for about 2 seconds then go back to the bridge position – still your pelvis lifted up. (please observe carefully the video how Jakub and Rachel doing the pelvic tilt.)
- Repeat the pelvic tilt 5 times.
- Then slowly lower down and you may repeat this about 5 – 12 times.
2. Lumbar Flexion in Lying
Moving your body, including the back and legs, will help to lessen the symptoms experiencing from this condition. Below are the steps that you have to follow for this exercise.
- Start by lying down on your back having your feet flat on the floor with your knees apart.
- Grab your knees with your hands and gently pull closely to your chest.
- Return to the starting position
- Repeat 10-15 times a day.
3. Standing Lumbar Flexion
Standing lumbar flexion is good for healing lower back pain and helps in improving your posture. And here’s how to do it:
- Stand on the floor with good posture.
- Gently extend your back by creating a backward arch of your spine.
- You may place your hands at your back as support.
- Repeat exercise 5-10 times a day.
4. Seated Lumbar Flexion
Another exercise that can help your low back. With the seatted position, there is the presence of gravity that can add a bit of force toward your spine which helps in increasing the flexion obtained.
- Sit on a comfortable chair.
- Move your upward body towards the floor.
- Slowly place your hand on the floor near your feet.
- Hold for 20 seconds.
- Repeat it 2-3 times every day.
5. Knee to Chest
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Reduction of the pressure on the nerves in your low back can be achieved with this exercise. It can also relieve back pain. And here are the ways on how to do it.
- Start by lying on your back.
- Then gently bring your knee towards the chest.
- Gently pull your leg with your hands which will create a comfortable stretch.
- Hold on to that position for about 10 seconds, then slowly place your leg to the floor.
- You may repeat it with the other leg or do with both legs.
- Repeat it 3-5 times per day.
What to Consider Before Starting the Exercises?
Many people get too much motivated for exercise, workouts, and training, so they started putting extra weight on their body which it can’t handle. It results in severe damage which can be healed after several months. To be safe, it’s essential that you have considered the following before starting an exercise.
Ask Your Doctor’s Approval
Before starting a new exercise, it’s essential that you have consulted your doctor for this. Although the above-mentioned exercises are safe and gentle, please bear in mind that you have to ask your doctor’s permission. This can help in making your doctor aware of what exercises or activities you are doing.
Avoid Excessive stretching
Want to heal your pain through stretching, but doing it excessively will not help you to get rid of it. However, it will result in more spinal narrowness and irritation, which in the long run, can cause severe pain. Therefore, it’s a must that you practice gentle exercise.
Partner Your Exercise with the Right Diet
For holistic healing, it’s essential that you have to eat a proper diet that contains your needed protein, vitamins, minerals, etc.
A Key Point to Remember When Doing the Exercises
In doing the above exercises, it’s essential that you need to pay attention to what you feel. If you feel a sudden pain, you must stop that exercise and call your spine specialist. Always, remember that good exercise must not make you hurt, it must help you reduce the pain.
Need Help with your Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?
If you are looking for a natural way to relieve pain from lumbar spinal stenosis, we can help you. We have registered Physiotherapists in Coquitlam that can guide and provide you with ideal treatment.
You may also read how physiotherapists can help with this condition.
Another important process that you will undergo before the treatment is that we will provide a thorough examination and consultation. You may book online here.