How to Treat Spinal Stenosis Naturally
Your spine is a column made up of 26 small bones in your back that make up the core of your ability to move, stand up straight, walk, lift objects, and even bend over. Given how much it affects your every move, the importance of spinal care can’t be overstated at any age.
Spinal stenosis is sometimes considered the normal wear and tear of age on the body, but the truth is there are specific injuries or other risk factors that can make someone more likely to develop it. Today we’re taking a look at what it is and how to treat spinal stenosis naturally to potentially give you some pain relief.
As always, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before beginning any form of treatment for back pain to ensure it’s safe for you to do so.
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
What is spinal stenosis if not just normal wear and tear on the body? Before hopping into different potentially effective natural spinal stenosis therapies, it’s important to understand what this health ailment is.
Spinal stenosis is a physical health issue caused by the narrowing of the spinal canal, or the passage of nerves that goes down the center of your back. Excess pressure on the spine reduces space between vertebrae and discs, putting pressure on these nerves that most commonly manifests as neck or lower back pain.
While some people who suffer from spinal stenosis may show few to no symptoms, the spinal compression that causes spinal stenosis may also result in sciatica symptoms, other nerve pains, or even problems with bladder or bowel control.
Instead of medication or surgical options, sometimes it may be effective to find alternative therapies for neck and back pain as part of how to treat spinal stenosis.
Spinal Stenosis Causes
While it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional prior to beginning any spinal stenosis therapies, understanding some of the most common causes of spinal stenosis can help you come up with potentially effective ways for how to treat it.
Frequently, spinal stenosis is attributed to wear and tear on your body associated with osteoarthritis. This and other age related diseases may contribute to spinal compression and lower back pain. There are many other potential risk factors for spinal stenosis, however, of which you should be aware.
Other causes of spinal stenosis may include:
- Herniated discs
- Spinal injuries
- Thickened ligaments in the spine
- Bone overgrowth (also known as bone spurs)
Natural Methods for How to Treat Spinal Stenosis
Some treatments for this health ailment include taking anti-inflammatory medications or, in severe cases, spinal surgery. Alternatively, however, natural spinal stenosis therapies such as exercise, stretching, or methods for spinal decompression may be effective.
A few easy methods that may prove beneficial for how to treat spinal stenosis naturally include:
- Regular exercise to stay loose
- Massage therapy to relax your back
- Stretching to increase mobility and flexibility
- Spinal decompression at home
- Alternating heat therapy and cold therapy
Doing Spinal Stenosis Exercises
If you’re experiencing back pain, it may sound counterintuitive to get up and stay active, but the truth is that’s more likely to help with back pain relief than being fully sedentary. Doing full body workout exercises gets your blood flowing more effectively and can help decompress your spine while enhancing how the body heals itself. If you opt to try exercising as one of your alternative spinal stenosis therapies, make sure you’re acting within your physical limitations in order to avoid accidentally injuring yourself further.
Some exercises that may be helpful for how to treat spinal stenosis naturally are those that lower impact. So instead of jogging or running, consider trying one or more of these:
- Tai chi or yoga
- Core strengthening exercises
- Riding a bicycle (or stationary bike)
Massage for Spinal Stenosis
While the positive effects of massage therapy are widely known, did you know it may also be helpful as a method for how to treat spinal stenosis naturally? Studies have shown the potential benefits of massage for spinal stenosis as a method for chronic back pain relief. Getting massages regularly keeps the muscles in your back loose, increases blood flow to reduce inflammation, and may even be a method for how to heal a herniated disc more quickly.
Massage for spinal stenosis isn’t just for older people, either! Many athletes or other active persons choose to get regular massages to ensure they stay in top condition. It makes an easy and potentially effective part of any post workout recovery routine to avoid negative effects of higher impact activities.
If getting to a massage therapist regularly isn’t easy to schedule or hit’s the wallet too hard, there are alternatives to consider, as well. Zero gravity chairs with massage features combine several different potentially effective methods when you’re learning how to treat spinal stenosis naturally and lets you do so from the comfort of home. The benefits of zero gravity chairs for all ages means they make the ideal addition for everyone in the family.
Stretches for Spinal Stenosis
One of the most common alternative spinal stenosis therapies people consider are stretches to increase mobility and flexibility. All of these are aimed at improving range of motion and decompressing the spine. If you choose to do active stretches when you’re learning how to treat spinal stenosis, try adding in breathing exercises simultaneously as it may help reduce stress and loosen up back muscles that are causing you pain.
Some simple stretches for spinal stenosis include:
- Leg stretches while sitting
- Back stretches while lying on your stomach
- Hip and hip flexor stretches
- Stretches for your quadriceps
You don’t have to spend a ton of time doing these stretches, either. Finding ways to work them into your daily routine will make them second nature and you’ll find they don’t take too long to have possible positive effects! You might even want to consider ways to exercise at work during active breaks or while relaxing in a zero gravity chair during the evening in order to avoid pain from sitting too long during the day.
Decompression Therapy for Spinal Stenosis
Next up in our exploration of how to treat spinal stenosis naturally is with spinal decompression at home. There are a number of ways to achieve this from simple exercises to yoga and even while using a zero gravity chair for back pain. Spinal decompression is potentially beneficial for treating the effects of gravity and daily wear and tear on your back to alleviate pain, decrease muscle tension along the spine, treat sciatica symptoms, and improve sleep quality.
Ice and Heat for Spinal Stenosis
Heat usually is the better choice for pain due to osteoarthritis. Heat increases blood flow, which relaxes muscles and relieves aching joints. Be careful when using heat – don’t set the settings too high so you don’t get burned.
As with many injuries, you may see the potential benefits of ice or heat for spinal stenosis, as well. While heat is typically the choice for back pain relief, especially pain from osteoarthritis, ice may help, too.
The benefits of heat therapy include increasing poor blood circulation that helps tissue heal faster, relaxing back muscles, and reducing swollen joints. If you’re having difficulty getting enough coverage for heat therapy with a traditional heating pad, you may find a zero gravity chair with heat therapy features is ideal. You can combine this heat therapy with vibration massage or air pressure massage benefits for spinal stenosis to see some real potentially beneficial effects.
If heat isn’t helping, ice therapy may help reduce swelling or inflammation, as well. Whether you’re applying heat or ice as part of your alternative spinal stenosis therapies, be sure to do so safely. Avoid direct contact with ice packs by wrapping it in a thin towel first. For heat therapy, be sure the settings aren’t too high to avoid discomfort or accidentally burning yourself.
Learning how to treat spinal stenosis naturally may truly help bring you pain relief so that you can get back to living your life to the fullest. Whether you try simple stretches, full body exercises, or combine the benefits of massage and heat therapy by choosing a zero gravity chair for your home, we hope our guide has given you ideas to try. As with all healthcare treatments, be sure to consult a medical professional before starting to ensure it’s safe to do so.
Want to learn more about the health benefits of zero gravity chairs? Check out these resources and see how they may change your life: