Spinal stenosis can be a very uncomfortable medical condition. It is the narrowing between the spaces of the spine and can lead to spinal cord or nerve compression. Spinal stenosis usually affects the lumbar (lower back) and cervical (neck) areas of the spine.
Spinal stenosis is generally broken down into two types:
The most common form of spinal stenosis occurs in the lower back. A thickening of ligaments or bone spurs in the spinal canal causes spinal canal narrowing. Pain may worsen when standing or walking and improve when bending forward or sitting. Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis include:
A herniated disc or degenerative changes can cause a narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck region. Symptoms of cervical stenosis include:
There are several risk factors and causes of spinal stenosis, including:
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can also cause neurological issues. Treatment for spinal stenosis can also vary but often begins conservatively.
If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, there are some things you can do to manage the pain and discomfort. Things to avoid include:
It puts pressure on your spine and can worsen symptoms. Make sure to change your position, stand up, or take frequent short walks.
Don’t strain your spine excessively by picking up heavy objects. If you need to lift something, be mindful of your spine and lift with your knees to minimize strain on your back.
Aerobic activities like jumping or running can jar the spine. Go for easy exercises on your back, like walking or swimming.
Your spine needs support, and slouching only puts pressure directly on your spine. Practice good posture when you’re sitting, walking, or standing. Invest in lumbar support cushions or ergonomic chairs.
You can put a lot of stress on your spine by leaning forward or turning. Whenever you need to use your body this way, remember to be mindful of your spine and focus on minimizing any strain on your back.
It’s a no-brainer that excess body weight can increase the pressure on your spine. Eat healthy and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.
Comfortable shoes are a must when diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Wearing high-heeled shoes puts extra pressure on your back by altering your posture. Look for shoes that are supportive and comfy.
If anyone needed another reason to quit smoking, spinal stenosis is it! Smoking reduces circulation and decreases nutrient delivery to the spine, which could cause worsen spinal stenosis symptoms.
Don’t pretend the symptoms don’t exist. If you feel any symptoms that could be related to spinal stenosis, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Spinal stenosis is not a DIY project! Talk to your doctor and get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Spinal stenosis symptoms can range from mild to severe and can vary from person to person. If you have are experiencing any of the symptoms, it is important to see your doctor. Don’t ignore your symptoms, talk to a healthcare professional about diagnosing and treating spinal stenosis.
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Linda Guerrera has been the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You since 2022. A recipient of the New York State Broadcasters Award for Outstanding Work in Radio, she spent over ...
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