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What is spinal stenosis and what are the maincharacteristics?

Spinal stenosis is a condition that affects the spine and itis characterized by narrowing of certain area or areas, usually neck or lowerpart of the back. Since this results in increased pressure on the spinal cordor nerves, the symptoms that are most frequently experienced are pain,numbness, weakness and loss of sensation in the affected area. It is notuncommon that the person loses control over bladder or bowel functioning, or tocompletely lose sensation in the extremities, but it depends on the nerve whichis affected. As for the reasons why spinal stenosis occurs in the first place, thosethat have been identified by now are age related conditions that result indegeneration of the disk, thickening of the ligaments, or bone spurs. Aside fromthese causes, spinal stenosis might be result of some genetic disorder, birthdefect, injury or tumor.

What exercises are helpful for spinals stenosis?

Despite the fact that the treatment of this conditionusually consists of medications that help in controlling the pain, or evenantidepressants or anti-seizure drugs, if necessary, the truth is that physicaltherapy can be of huge help in cases of spinal stenosis. Physical therapist canintroduce the patient with the exercises that improve the strengths and endurance,keep the spine flexible and stable, improve the balance and control the pain. Eventhough it might sounds unbelievable, the truth is that exercises can help withall this, but only if they are done in a right way.

Curl ups are done while lying on the back with the kneesslightly bent and arms near the body. The back needs to be flat on the floor,and then the person needs to lift the Head and shoulders off the floor untilcounting to five. It is recommended to repeat this 10 times.Prone trunk raises are done in a lying position, but whilelying with the face down. From this position, the buttock muscles have to betightened and then the Head and shoulders raised up as high as it feelscomfortable. The positioned needs to be held for 5 seconds and the exerciserepeated 10 times.Stretching the hamstring is done while lying on the back. Oneleg is raised as straight as it is possible and pulled towards the chest, whilethe hands are positioned behind the thighs. This position needs to be held forat least 15 seconds, and then repeated for the other leg. 3 repetitions for eachside are enough.

Other recommended exercises are oblique trunk raises, alternating leg and arm lift, double knee to chest, standing backward bend, but it is necessary not to ignore the pain if it appears.

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