Spinal stenosis is a term for narrowing in the spinal column that can cause painful nerve compression both locally and in the extremities. While this condition can potentially affect people of all ages, it becomes far more likely to develop with age due to the effect of natural degenerative changes on the body. For example, the spinal discs that are designed to cushion the vertebrae can lose their elasticity and shrink, causing the already tight nerve passages in the spine to compress.
Although spinal stenosis can have a negative effect on your activity and comfort levels, it is important for elderly patients to stay active in order to manage this condition. In addition to taking regular walks and performing gentle stretches at home, working with a physical therapist to perform targeted spinal stenosis exercises can be a very important part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
At Back in Motion’s clinic in Newport, Maine, our friendly and knowledgeable therapists have extensive experience helping elderly patients manage spinal stenosis and other causes of back pain with therapeutic exercise. If you have any questions after reading this helpful article, please get in touch with a member of our team for more information.
Goals and benefits of spinal stenosis exercises for senior patients
An overly sedentary lifestyle can lead to a downward spiral for patients dealing with age-related spine conditions. Too much inactivity can lead to accelerated muscle and soft tissue atrophy, poor posture and declining circulation, all of which can have a detrimental effect on spine health.
However, as we get older, it is a fact that exercise can become harder to perform. Especially if you are trying to start an exercise program after years of pain and inactivity. This is where a physical therapist can help. Not only can a therapist help you learn and perform therapeutic exercises that directly benefit the spine, but he or she can also help you do them safely and keep you motivated to do them regularly. Therapeutic exercises for spinal stenosis can help elderly patients:
- Strengthen and stabilize the spine
- Improve posture to lengthen and decompress the spine
- Increase spinal flexibility and range of motion
- Increase blood flow and nutrients to the spine
Physical therapists who understand your needs
If you’re a senior patient in Newport who is seeking relief from spinal stenosis, contact the team at Back in Motion Physical Therapy. We’ll be happy to schedule an initial appointment so we can evaluate your condition and create a physical therapy and exercise program that is personalized just for you.