Oh! My aching back! Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis …. What does it all mean? It usually means progressively worsening low back pain with aging. You could experience numbness and tingling down the back or front of one or both of your legs, the inability to fully straighten up and worsening symptoms with standing and walking.
Very simply, our spinal discs are fluid filled sacs between our vertebrae that help absorb shock and gives our backs amazing flexibility. As we age with mileage and repetitive lifting strain our spinal discs dehydrate, lose height and start to buckle into our spinal canal creating painful nerve compression known as lumbar degenerative disc disease. With continued aging and degeneration our spinal discs can harden and calcify creating a narrowing or stenosis of our spinal canals with increasing low back pain and progressive difficulty with standing and walking. With advanced lumbar stenosis you can experience what’s called neurogenic claudication or extreme numbness and tingling down the front of both of your thighs as you walk, even short distances.
If you can’t stand upright, the back pain and numbness in your legs gets worse with standing and walking and your symptoms improve with sitting and bending forward. Then try these exercises.
1. Single knee to chest
2. Double knee to chest
3. Pelvic rotation
4. Hamstring neurotension stretching
5. Cats/dogs with flexion bias
6. Prayer stretch
7. Static back
8. Back bracing
9. Lumbar traction
All of these recommended exercises should be easy and pain free. If any exercise is painful please discontinue. As always with any new exercise or activity program consult with your physician or medical provider to get clearance that these activities are appropriate for your current health status.
Of course, there is nothing better you can do for helping your aching back and leg pain like good old hands on treatment like you’ll receive from the therapists at M.C.O.P.T. We will identify and treat painful pressure points in your back and pelvis that are diagnostic sensors indicating the true source of your pain. We will treat these painful pressure points to eliminate pain and muscle spasm restoring pain free movement and function in all directions. Treating the source of your problem rather than chasing your pain will result in long lasting positive outcomes. Professional treatment in combination with a spine specific home exercise program will give you the biggest bang for your buck in keeping your back happy and healthy.
You can “Get Better and Stay Better”.