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Five ways to travel comfortably with canal stenosis

Canal stenosis, also known as spinal stenosis or central stenosis, is a condition characterized by the narrowing of a section of the spinal canal. This narrowing usually results from a damaged component of the spine, such as a herniated disc or bone spur. The spinal cord is located in this canal and when the canal narrows, it can compress the spinal cord or its nerve roots and produce uncomfortable symptoms.

Many people with canal stenosis experience varying degrees of neck or back discomfort, as well as muscle weakness, numbness and tingling sensations in the extremities from compressed nerves. Read on to learn various methods you can use to ease your symptoms when traveling with this chronic condition.

Traveling with canal stenosis

Simply standing and walking can be difficult with canal stenosis pain, so it goes without saying that traveling with a back condition can be extraordinarily challenging. Sitting on long airplane or car rides, carrying a heavy luggage and walking more than usual can make symptoms worse. But, that doesn’t mean you should allow canal stenosis to ruin your travel plans. Here are five easy tips to manage back pain while you’re away from home:

  1. Stretch routinely. Before and after embarking on your road trip or flight, be sure to stretch key muscles. Ask your doctor what stretches would be most helpful for your specific condition.
  2. Fly wisely. If flying, ask for an aisle seat if possible, as these are easier to get in and out of. If your seat reclines, be sure to take advantage of this feature if it helps you feel more comfortable.
  3. Pack lightly and use a backpack. Pack as little as possible and don’t be afraid to ask for help with lifting luggage. If you must lift your suitcase, do so slowly and avoid twisting your back. Also, use a backpack instead of a bag with one shoulder strap for equal weight distribution.
  4. Be smart about your footwear. Invest in comfortable, high-quality slip-on shoes that you won’t have to bend over to untie while going through security at the airport.
  5. Be prepared. Keep doctor-approved medication on hand, just in case a spurt of back pain strikes while you’re out and about. It’s also wise to bring other forms of pain relief, such as hot and cold packs.

Minimally invasive procedures for canal stenosis

Individuals with severe canal stenosis may find it especially difficult to travel. In these advanced cases, surgery may be recommended to repair damaged discs or decompress spinal nerves. USA Spine Care offers minimally invasive canal stenosis procedures that are performed on an outpatient basis. Contact our dedicated team today so we can help guide you on your next step to find pain relief.

Our highly skilled surgeons use a decompression surgery in order to remove the structure causing pressure in your spine. Unlike traditional open spine surgeries that usually require substantial cutting and lengthy recovery periods, our procedures require a less than 1-inch incision, thereby reducing surgical blood loss, scarring and discomfort following surgery.^

Since 2005, our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back conditions like canal stenosis. To find out if you’re a candidate for the minimally invasive procedures performed at USA Spine Care, reach out to our dedicated team for a no-cost review* of your MRI or CT scan.

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