Spinal Stenosis in My Lower Back – Can I Still Do My Daily Workout?

Spinal Stenosis and ExerciseNot only can you exercise if you are diagnosed with spinal stenosis in the lower back – you absolutely should continue, as much as you are able, to maintain your daily workout regimen. The pain, tingling, numbness, and/or muscle weakness sometimes associated with stenosis, or a narrowing, of the spinal canal often can be combated more effectively by staying active than by getting off your feet for an extended period of time. In fact, prolonged rest, or a sedentary lifestyle, is one of the key risk factors for the development of spinal stenosis and other degenerative spine conditions. 

Of course, not everyone can expect to pick up where they left off in the gym after they’ve received a diagnosis of spinal stenosis in the lower back . Your ability to perform your normal exercise routine will, naturally, depend on the severity of your symptoms and your general overall health. The number one thing to remember about exercising as you recover from the effects of spinal stenosis is to make sure you get approval from your doctor. He or she will be able to gauge what you’re capable of doing safely, and what activities might exacerbate your symptoms. 

In general, the following exercises are often recommended as effective ways to stay active as your deal with the effects of spinal stenosis: 

  • Stretches that improve the flexibility of the back and legs
  • Low-impact activities, like walking and swimming, that improve cardiovascular health
  • Light weight training that improves and maintains muscular strength
  • Biomechanical exercises that improve posture and body mechanics

Even as you attempt to stay active, your doctor might also recommend a combination of other conservative, nonsurgical treatment methods. These might include pain medication, corticosteroid injections, massage, and more. One last (but very important) thing to remember: Use common sense when attempting to exercise with spinal stenosis in the lower back. If your pain becomes unbearable or you begin to feel symptoms elsewhere (such as a strained muscle or sprained ligament), stop that activity and contact your doctor.

2 replies
  1. Dr. Andrew White
    Dr. Andrew White says:

    Absolutely, you should keep exercising. Even if one has a diagnosis of stenosis, exercise needs to be a regular part of the daily health program. Remember, stenosis is progressive. If we just sit around, we allow the condition to progress even faster. Slow it down with exercise. If you find that you need some support before you can get exercising full swing, then call your local chiropractor for some safe, effective help.


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