When spinal stenosis is resulting in discomfort due to the compression of vertebra and related pinched nerves associated with the condition, it becomes necessary to find an effective remedy for the pain. For patients wishing to put off or possibly avoid motion-limiting surgeries like spinal fusion, there are natural treatments that often help patients manage, reduce, or eliminate their pain.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
Muscle strength can be slowly increased with exercises performed under the direction of a licensed physical therapist. By improving posture and improving the strength of supporting muscles, nerve compression may lessen over time. Spinal stenosis exercises may include:
- Strength training
- Water therapy
- Relaxation exercises (yoga, Tai Chi)
Even losing ten pounds can result in less pressure on the spine. Weight loss goals can be achieved with gentle or modified exercises and dietary changes, such as reducing fatty food intake, eating more lean proteins, and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables.
It’s the anti-inflammatory properties associated with omega 3s that can help reduce symptoms associated with spinal stenosis and arthritis. While incorporating certain fish into your diet (i.e., salmon, herring, trout) can boost your omega 3 intake, supplements tend to be a more efficient method for consuming these fatty acids.
There’s evidence to suggest that vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements may help reduce or control inflammation associated with spinal stenosis. However, it’s important to consult your doctor before taking any supplements in order to avoid possible drug interactions. Beneficial herbs may include:
- Devil’s claw (muscle pain, general pain)
- White willow (anti-inflammatory properties)
- Turmeric (inflammation reduction)
Alternative, non-surgical spine therapies like acupuncture may provide meaningful relief, although conclusive data is lacking on such techniques. Pilates exercises may also provide relief by increasing muscle strength and improving flexibility, in turn reducing pressure on nerves and supporting spine structures.
If you have exhausted your spine treatment options and are looking to find meaningful relief from your spine pain, there are other surgical options besides the traditional fusion. Learn more about non-fusion spine treatment options by scheduling an in-person consultation with Dr. Hyun Bae of The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration and start on the path toward a more comfortable lifestyle.