Foraminal stenosis, which is narrowing of the openings that allow nerve roots to exit the spine, can cause painful symptoms and make it difficult to get around, but it is important to stay active. Regular exercise provides many benefits for the spinal column, including increased flexibility and a stronger support system that can potentially offer relief for foraminal stenosis.
Whether you are just starting an exercise program after being diagnosed with this condition, or you are an already active person looking to get back to your routine, it is important to exercise in such a way as to avoid worsening your condition. The following tips can help you get a quality workout if you are dealing with foraminal stenosis.
Tips for exercising with foraminal stenosis
- Talk to your doctor. Every case of foraminal stenosis is different, as is each person, which is why it is important to talk to a qualified medical professional who can tell you what level of physical activity you’re cleared for.
- Take it easy. Don’t jump into a workout too quickly, start slow and build. This is especially true if you are used to doing strenuous workouts.
- Use proper mechanics and good posture. Make sure you are doing your exercises properly, both to avoid painful movements and to evenly distribute pressure on the spine. It is recommended to consult with a personal trainer or physical therapist who can correct problems with your form.
- Listen to your body. Stop if you feel sudden pain or discomfort or if you are starting to feel fatigued, as you are more likely to injure yourself when tired.
- Try new workouts. If you are used to running or lifting weights but have been told to take a break, try more spine-friendly activities like yoga, Pilates, swimming or cycling. These exercises can help you build a strong core and keep you active while you wait to see if your condition improves.
Treatment options for foraminal stenosis
Along with exercise, foraminal stenosis symptoms can be treated with options like medication, periods of rest or therapeutic massage. It is also beneficial to make lifestyle changes like improving your posture, managing your weight or quitting smoking, if necessary. Spine surgery to widen the foraminal canals can become a serious consideration if weeks or months of conservative treatment have not brought the relief necessary for a good quality of life.
If you are in this situation, contact the caring team at USA Spine Care. We can help you learn more about minimally invasive spine surgery for the treatment of foraminal stenosis. Our board-certified surgeons+ use muscle-sparing techniques to access the spine and relieve foraminal stenosis, allowing for a streamlined outpatient procedure.
If you’d like to find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, ask for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan.*