Thursday, July 20, 2023

Physical Therapy for Spinal Stenosis-Related Nerve Pain

 Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option for managing spinal stenosis-related nerve pain. A physical therapist can help develop an exercise program that focuses on changing the position of your spine to help take the pressure off of the spinal nerves, which can help decrease your pain and improve your overall mobility

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The exercise program for spinal stenosis typically includes a combination of range of motion, strengthening, endurance, and stability related activities
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 Exercises to relieve and treat lumbar spinal stenosis pain are usually flexion-based (forward-bending) 
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 Flexing the lumbar spine helps to open the spinal canal, which can take pressure off the nerve structures in the lumbar spine
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 Some exercises that may be included in a spinal stenosis exercise program include:
  • Sustained lumbar extension: This position gently presses against the soft lumbar discs and nudges them away from your spinal canal
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  • Knee-to-chest stretches: Lying on the back, pull both knees to the chest and hold for 30 seconds, 3x
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  • Lower trunk rotation: Lying on the back, rotate both legs to one side, hold for 10 seconds, and then rotate to the other side
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  • Partial abdominal curls: Lying on the back, lift the head and shoulders off the ground and hold for 5 seconds, then relax
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  • Bridges: Lying on the back, lift the hips off the ground and hold for 5 seconds, then relax
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  • Hamstring stretches: Lying on the back, lift one leg up and hold behind the thigh, then straighten the leg and hold for 30 seconds, then relax and repeat on the other leg
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In addition to exercise, physical therapy may also include manual therapy and postural education to help alleviate pain
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 Manual therapy involves hands-on techniques to mobilize or manipulate joints and soft tissue
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 Postural education can help you learn how to correct your posture, avoid positions and movements that make your pain worse, and complete everyday activities in a way that avoids increased strain on your low back
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Research shows that in all but the most extreme cases of spinal stenosis, conservative care such as physical therapy achieves better results than surgery
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 Physical therapy can help improve your quality of life by decreasing your pain and providing you with the knowledge of how to manage your condition
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If you are experiencing spinal stenosis-related nerve pain, it is important to contact a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment. A physical therapist can help develop an exercise program that is safe and effective for your specific condition.

Citations:
[1] https://www.choosept.com/guide/physical-therapy-guide-spinal-stenosis
[2] https://www.healthcentral.com/condition/spinal-stenosis/physical-therapy-spinal-stenosis
[3] https://nyulangone.org/conditions/spinal-stenosis/treatments/nonsurgical-treatment-for-spinal-stenosis
[4] https://www.verywellhealth.com/spinal-stenosis-physical-therapy-5189472
[5] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/physical-therapy-as-good-as-surgery-and-less-risky-for-one-type-of-lower-back-pain-201504097863
[6] https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/treatments-for-spinal-stenosis
[7] https://www.sciatica.com/from-the-doc/9-treatment-options-for-spinal-stenosis/
[8] https://www.prodynamicpt.com/blog/2020/5/13/physical-therapy-guide-to-spinal-stenosis

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