Neural foraminal stenosis is a disorder of the spine that can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in various body parts. It occurs when a hole through which nerves pass through the spinal cord starts narrowing. According to the Spinal Columns website, a stenosis physical therapy program containing swimming, flexibility, strengthening, and aerobic exercises may be beneficial.
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Always work with your doctor to determine foraminal stenosis treatment options.
Swimming is a low-impact aerobic exercise that can increase your heart rate but is easier on the body than other exercises. Swimming exercises all of your back muscles in a supportive environment. There is less weight on your back because water supports your weight well. According to the spine-health website, water exercise therapy for back pain may include spa therapy, standing/floating pool exercises, swimming, and conditioning using equipment like surgical tubing, flotation devices and resistive devices for the hands or feet. Your doctor can work with a physical therapist to suggest specific water exercises.
Flexibility exercises involve lengthening your muscles for an extended amount of time. Stretching improves your flexibility. The more flexible you are, the more range of motion you will have. More flexibility around the spine and pelvis allows you to have normal spine movement, which decreases the risk for injury because it prevents abnormal force on joints. When you are performing approved flexibility exercises warm up first and complete exercises slowly to prevent injury. If you ever feel pain while performing any exercises, stop the activity and notify your doctor or physical therapist.
Strengthening exercises increase the tone of your muscles. When you develop a stronger abdominal core it can lead to a more stable spine.Stronger leg muscles make it easier to use proper lifting techniques. Using proper lifting techniques help prevent back injuries and pain. When you are performing approved strengthening exercises, stop the activity and notify your doctor or physical therapist if you feel any pain.
Aerobic exercises are recommended for people with spine conditions, according to Amy Rice, a physical therapist who fields questions on aerobic exercise for lower back pain on the SpineUniverse website. Rice suggests checking with your doctor before beginning an exercise program, and recommends that people with spinal stenosis engage only in low-impact exercise. Walking, swimming, or riding a stationary bike are good low-impact aerobic exercises that increase your heart rate but are easier on the body. You should not experience any pain while performing low-impact aerobics. If pain is present, stop the exercise and talk to your doctor or physical therapist right away.