The spine changes over time, adapting to the effects of movement, wear and tear, and compression. These movements may eventually lead to the narrowing of the spinal canal, causing a condition called spinal stenosis.
Lumbar spinal stenosis (spinal stenosis in the lower back) is a common problem in individuals over the age of 50 and causes pain in the buttocks, legs, feet, and occasionally, the back. Because of this pain, people with lumbar spinal stenosis tend to resist movement to remain comfortable. But this is no way to live!
One of the best ways to combat spinal stenosis pain is to continue moving and stretching to strengthen your back and improve flexibility. There are many ways you can learn to do this pain-free, starting with visiting a spinal expert from Graybar Chiropractic of Wilmington, Wallace, or Clinton, NC.
Getting to the bottom of spinal stenosis
Over time, bone spurs, enlar traveling joints, bulging discs, and thickening ligaments may all contribute to the narrowing of the spine. These things may happen naturally or as a result of an injury. When narrowing occurs, the nerves travelling through the spine become compressed, leading to feelings of pain and discomfort.
Lumbar spinal stenosis, in particular, affects the five vertebrae present in the lower back. When this part of the spine gets compressed, the nerves leading to the legs and feet are affected. Symptoms may include tingling; numbing or weakness in the buttocks, legs, and feet (sciatica); cramping; and pain radiating down the legs.
Staying active in the wake of spinal stenosis
One of the main problems individuals with lumbar spinal stenosis encounter is immobility, because of the pain and weakness present in the legs. However, many treatment plans for lumbar spinal stenosis include physical activity like stretches and exercises to combat pain.
Exercise is a critical component of treating lumbar spinal stenosis. This is because routine exercise (that is comfortable for the patient) may help strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine, remove pressure from the bones, and improve flexibility and looseness of the muscles so pulling of the spine does not occur. When the back is strong and stable, people with spinal stenosis may notice an improvement in their symptoms.
Additionally, inactivity can be detrimental to the health of the patient’s back. Although most patients feel more comfortable sitting, a sedentary lifestyle can result in weight gain, as well as muscular instability around the spine, which can make the condition worse.
Swimming is one of the preferred methods of exercising and strengthening back muscles. Doing activity in the pool can take pressure off the body while improving range of motion. Riding a stationary bike is also a good option for spinal stenosis patients. The seated position also allows you to lean forward and may help relieve pain. Additionally, core-strengthening stretches and exercises like curl-ups can help strengthen the lower abdominal muscles, which may help patients hold a posture that takes pressure off the nerves in the spine.
Chiropractic as a supplement to lifestyle
In addition to exercise and stretching, chiropractic manipulations may also help to maneuver the spine and nerves to relive pain. A chiropractor will be able to assist you with both chiropractic treatment and prescribe an exercise regimen designed to alleviate spinal stenosis pain.
If you are struggling to move because of your lumbar spinal stenosis, visit Graybar Chiropractic. We help patients in North Carolina through our expert-trained Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) techniques, which focuses on holistic patient health to improve your overall wellbeing.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.