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Exercises for Spinal Stenosis

Started by 2010MM on 03/23/2010 12:37pm

Good morning!
I'm wondering if anyone has done exercises for spinal stenosis. Some of the exercises I've been given include:
maintaining a neutral spine by pulling in the lower abs., straight back bends, hip flexion (hamstring), pretzel stretch,dynamic lumbar stablization program. Has anyone found an exercise program can resolve the symptoms of spinal stenosis? Are there other exercise anyone has done that were effective? How often do you exercise and for how long?
Thanks so much!

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My background - slighly overweight, DDD and stenosis of the lumbar spine - pain going on 3+ years. About a year ago I started stretching and some light yoga and the pain has subsided substantially. It used to be tough rolling out of bed in the morning, now I am still stiff with some minor pain, but its managable. The last couple of weeks I started a more intense pilates- inspired work-out that is doing wonders. I am now exercising 6 days a week for 45 minutes to an hour. I have dropped from 210 lbs to 199 and I am feeling the best I have in years. I feel like if I can keep this up I will be pain free at some point.

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I had a laminectomy for lumbar canal stenosis 3 weeks ago. Before my op I was very limited as to what I could do. I could only walk very short distances and even then I struggled and was extremely slow. I knew that I needed to keep moving though so I bought two very easy dvds. One was a beginners pilates dvd and the other was a beginners yoga dvd. Both were off amazon. The pilates one is with Darcey Bussell and the yoga one is called Joy yoga. They are both really simple and they did help me.

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HI there!!! I discovered (by accident!!) that swimming REALLY helps my spinal stenosis. I was on hols and spent alot of time swimming, my back benefited no end from it. I had tried physio, yoga, pilates etc. prior to that, but they all made me worse!! If you can't swim, water walking is just as good, it must have something to do with the support the water gives you. I don't count lengths, or try to "beat-the-clock" or anything serious, I just have a leisurely swim as often as I can manage (1-2 times a week) and it seems to keep the core muscles strong enough to hold my spine together!!! Good luck!! I hope this helps!!

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I am very stiff when I get up in the morning. I have found that if I do low level Yoga it helps a lot. Yoga also helps the body to heal.

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I have only just joined this site but I have been dealing with Spinal Stenosis for about 5 years or more. I am 72 years old and have been very active all my life. It is hard to do enough to keep me in good physical condition. However I am finding that horseback riding, if done on a gaited horse and one that will walk slowly, helps me. I have always been a horse person and I quit riding because of my back problems. I have the Facet Ryzitomy injections every 3 months and they help also. I try not to take pain medications if I can. This may not help someone that does not ride or have access to horses but it does help me. The back and forth movement of a walking horse (if smooth) does probably the same as some of the Pilates and Yoga. Just don't overdo.
Good Luck!

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Hi,
I have had a cervical two level and a lumbar two level fusions. I find the best exercise to be aqua therapy. Very low impact and good cardio, also works the entire body. I find you can exercise longer and 2-3 times a week. Ask for a script from your doctor. Check to see how many visits insurance will cover and what your co-pay will be for each visit. Try to stretch out your appointments over the longest time period.

Joan

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As mentioned by one,I have found normal,leisurely swimming quite helpful and refreshing.No over straining please.There is some sensation,in the effected leg,after a swim.However,this depends on the extent of the stenosis affecting the lumbar spine,whether mild or severe.This can be decided by a Neurosurgeon only after a MRI.

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Thanks.Please, can you elaborate more on pretzel stretch & dynamic lumbar stabilization programme.

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Its been almost two decades,since I was first afflicted with Cervical Spondylosis. I found an alternative to wearing a Collar, by doing this particular excercise.
1.Stand agains't a plain wall with your back,shoulders,back of head pressing the wall. Both the arms should be at the side.Then slowly lift both the arms together,keeping them pressed slightly agains't the wall all the time.Both arms should be brought over the head until the palms are together,in an Indian "Namaskar" position.Now press the palms together and bring them to rest on top of the head,ensuring the elbow of both arms are pressed agains't the wall. Do this about 05 times,a day .Pressing the back and arms agains't the wall while doing this is important. After mastering this the knees could be bent,alternately,for each leg.This is an effective excercise,for Cervical spondylosis.

The most effective exercise for Spinal Lumbar stenosis,as per my personal experience,after I refused to undergo surgery nearly 02 years back,is as under.
1. Hold a chair or anything else firmly and throw both your legs to the right and left,upto waist level.I found this very effective when done in a swimming pool,by holding the pool walls.
Please Note:-
Besides the above remember before walking to first wear a light shoe,with good spongy inner soles.Try to avoid walking on any slopy ,uneven ground ,soft soil,hard metallic surfaces for too long.Try to sit and recuperate,between walks.Take shorter steps and adopt a normal gait.

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