Treating Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, compressing the nerves travelling through the lower back into the legs, causing tremendous pain and discomfort. The condition can be developed at any age, but is largely experienced by people over the age of 60. If your condition is worsening and you’re in chronic pain, consult Dr. Jay M. Shah, an expert physician experienced in West Orange lumbar spinal stenosis cases. He will provide a combination of medications, posture management, lifestyle adjustments, and exercises to treat the condition.
Light Stretches and Exercises
Stretches help you keep your back relaxed and flexible. Your core must be strong enough to provide support for your back and create stability. Ensure you stretch your back, chest, and limbs regularly, holding the stretch for a few seconds before releasing it. Do abdominal exercises on a daily basis to strengthen the core, making sure to also hold each position for a few seconds before relaxing.
Use a stationary bike to get enough cardio and activity. Riding a stationary bike for about 30 minutes per day helps maintain a healthy weight, reducing pressure and pain on your spine. Running, sprinting, and jogging are very vigorous activities that should be avoided as they put too much stress on the back, worsening the condition. Swimming and water aerobics are great ways to exercise without a lot of strain.
If you need to get around, use a cane or a walker. Flex your body forward and lean on a walker to ease unnecessary stress on your spine. Place a hot compress on your lower back to relieve pain and inflammation, and use a cold pack to prevent or reduce swelling, or if you start to feel an irritation in your back. You can alternate between a hot compress and a cold pack to ease inflammation.
If you still need support, talk to your doctor about the possibility of getting a back brace. A custom back brace that fits you properly will help support your back. In addition to that, sit in chairs that recline and have lumbar support. Chairs with straight backs should be avoided as they can increase the stress on the spine.
Regular physical therapy helps keep the spine flexible and maintain stability. Look for a therapist that is highly experienced in spinal conditions. A skilled therapist will help improve your balance and posture as the spinal condition progresses. Ask your doctor to recommend one for you.
Massage and acupuncture can help relieve pain and pressure in the spine. Schedule regular massages to prevent the spine from getting too inflamed or too tense. Book a session with an experienced acupuncturist who specializes in spinal conditions. Deep tissue massages on the legs and lower back can help reduce pain and discomfort.
Your doctor can prescribe medication for short-term pain relief. These include high-dose NSAIDS or opioids. Opioids should be used in moderation as they can cause addiction, thus ensure you follow the doctor’s instructions on the recommended dosage. He or she will tell you how long the medication can be taken, and depending on how you’re feeling, will gradually reduce the dosage over time.
Day-to-day pain can be managed by over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. Steroid injections in the spine also help reduce swelling and irritation. Consult your doctor first before taking any extra medication as some may worsen the condition. If none of these options work for you, consider surgery for spinal stenosis.