It is becoming more and more necessary to inform about spinal disorders; due to its rise and significant impact in today’s society, it is essential to help in the awareness of the importance of exercise and adequate and constant physical activity to prevent its deterioration, as well as health in general. One of the problems in this body region is spinal stenosis or narrowing.
In our spine, this stenosis can occur in two central locations: at the level of the neck (cervical) or in the lower back (lumbar). This FastlyHealarticle will explain lumbar stenosis: suggested exercises and treatment for optimal recovery and prevention.
Table of Contents
Lumbar stenosis: brief description
Lumbar stenosis refers to the narrowing of the vertebral canal through which the spinal cord and the nerves that arise from it extend and branch, respectively. It is a major cause of sciatica, and in some cases, it can disrupt the functioning of certain systemic functions by compressing nerves of the autonomic nervous system.
It can derive from one or more of the following causes :
- Wear of the intervertebral discs
- Irritation and chronic inflammation of the lumbar joints ( arthritis )
- Accidents or trauma
- The predisposition of birth due to narrow intervertebral discs
- Sedentary lifestyle
Lumbar Stenosis Exercise: Bridge
For this exercise, lie on your back and bend your knees so that your feet rest near your buttocks, hip-width apart. Rest your hands on the sides of your torso.
- Raise your hips until a straight line is drawn between your neck and knee on the inhale.
- Pause very briefly in this pose (1 second) by contracting your buttocks and abdomen
- Then exhale as you lower and relax.
- Repeat about 10 times.
This exercise helps tighten and strengthen the hips to allow a firmer and healthier posture for your lower back and thus reduce the risks of aggravating the problem; significantly, if sciatica has already developed may help relieve such pain.
Dorsal stretch against lumbar stenosis
The starting position is with your heels together and your feet slightly open and straight.
- Inhale as you stretch, lift your arms, and try your entire body, leaning back slightly.
- When you reach the entire stretch, contract your glutes for a second and be sure to do as much stretch as possible (without lifting your heels off the floor).
- Exhale progressively, hunching forward until you lower yourself as far as possible, trying to touch your toes with your hands without bending your knees.
- Repeat 10 times.
- You can vary the exercise by staying low, taking deep breaths, and focusing on feeling the relaxation in your lower back.
It is a similar movement but sitting in a chair.
- Sit with your hands resting on your thighs/knees to ensure a correct starting posture. Inhale.
- From there, exhale and lower yourself, bending your torso forward until you touch the balls of your feet.
- Stay in that pose for 10 to 30 seconds, taking deep breaths. Repeat 5 times.
The benefits of both variants of these exercises are that they provide a stretch and relaxation to the lower back that can result in an effective and pleasant pain reliever solution. The standing pose stretches your entire back and helps tighten your hips and glutes.
The seated version is specifically effective against lumbar stenosis and is a good start for people with severe sciatic nerve pain standing up, or at least before the standing variant.
Lumbosacral Stretch Hugging Legs Against Low Back Pain
More than an exercise, this stretch is a relaxation posture that also benefits your digestive health. Bend your knees and hug them, bringing them to your chest. In that hug, keep the pressure of your legs against your belly, breathing deeply. You can increase the strength of the hug with each exhale. Suggested time: 2 to 3 minutes.
Against lumbar stenosis, focus on doing and feeling the stretch in your lower back as you bring your knees to your chest. If it bothers you at the belly level, it may mean that you also have an inflamed intestine or have a lot of gas.
Variant for psoas stretch
Just pick up and hug one leg to your chest at a time, keeping the other straight and flat on the floor. Take 30 to 60 seconds in this pose and then switch to the opposite leg. This exercise also tightens the hips and helps stenosis by easing tension in the lower back.
Lumbar stenosis treatment
As an alternative to the exercises, the following indications and recommendations are presented to treat lumbar stenosis :
- Modification of everyday activities that can favor lumbar stenosis. These changes can be within the tasks at work, correcting postures and movements, or even changing the work itself. This modification could be temporary or permanent.
- Administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs orally.
- Epidural injections of steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Movements and exercises guided by a physiotherapist or specialized professional.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Lumbar stenosis: exercises and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.