It can be surprising for some to learn that a big part of degenerative spine treatment involves physical activity and regular exercise. In some ways this may seem counterintuitive because when you are experiencing prolonged neck or back pain, engaging in these activities may be uncomfortable. However, doctor-approved exercise can improve the strength and flexibility of the spine, potentially helping to take pressure off of pinched spinal nerves that are so often the source of symptoms.
Five recommended exercises for degenerative spine treatment
While exercise can be highly effective as part of a degenerative spine treatment plan, not all exercises are appropriate. Generally speaking, any physical activity that puts additional strain on the spine or features excessive bending, twisting or lifting should be avoided. Doctors and physical therapists recommend low-impact exercises as part of a degenerative spine treatment. Here are five quick examples:
- Walking. This exercise is extremely easy to incorporate into your daily routine and can have a profound impact on your health. Many patients enjoy starting their morning or winding down the evening with a nice stroll around the neighborhood to get their heart rate up, boost their metabolism and enjoy the outdoors.
- Cycling. Taking a bike ride or hopping on a stationary bike is a great way to get some excellent exercise in without putting too much strain on the spine. Just make sure the bicycle or stationary bike you use allows you to maintain a posture that is comfortable for you.
- Swimming. Swimming is one of the best types of degenerative spine treatment around because it places minimal strain on the spine, works the whole body and warm pool water can even offer hydrotherapeutic benefits.
- Elliptical machines. Many people enjoy elliptical machines as an alternative to treadmills and other gym equipment because these machines incorporate resistance to the workout, which makes exercise more interesting and also targets different muscles in the body than standard cardio equipment.
- Yoga, Pilates and other stretching techniques. Gentle stretches can be extremely beneficial toward improving core strength and making the muscles that support the spine more flexible.
Stay in close partnership with your doctor and tell him or her about any new forms of exercise you are attempting. Listen to your body and stop at the first sign of excessive discomfort or overexertion.
USA Spine Care
Conservative treatments, including exercise, are very often effective in relieving degenerative spine symptoms enough to allow people to engage in everyday activities, but surgery becomes an option if weeks or months of treatments aren’t effective. If you are considering a neck or back procedure, contact USA Spine Care to learn about the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery.
We are happy to offer a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.