Are you having back pains when you’re standing but not when you’re sitting down? Especially if you have pains that going down the legs and you’ve only feel it when you’re standing or walking, but when you sit down, you actually are pain free? If that is the case you might have Lumbar Stenosis.
Lumbar stenosis is narrowing of the spinal canal compressing the nerves that are coming out of the spine travelling to your legs. The most common causes are degeneration of the spine and bulging of the disc.
Symptoms can include:
- pain, tingling or numbness anywhere from your buttock, thigh, leg or foot.
- Cramping on muscles on your leg.
- Symptom is worse in standing and better in sitting or bending.
Below are exercises I prescribe for my patients who have the symptoms I mentioned above:
- The first exercise is single knee to chest. You’re going to lie down on a firm surface. It’s either you can do it on the floor or if you’re doing it on the bed, make sure the bed is very firm. You can use mattress toppers to make your mattress firm if it’s too soft. Bring one knee towards your chest by pulling that knee towards you with the other leg straight on the bed. If you have knee issues, place your hands at the back of your thigh just above your knee and pull your thigh towards you. Bring it to your chest, hold it there for 20 seconds, and then you can relax. You can do it 3 times on one side and then move to 3 times on the other side.
- The second stretch is very similar, but we’re upping the ante a little bit, we’re stretching more. It’s called double knee to chest. Bring both your knees towards your chest at the same time. Same principle applies. If you’re having knee issues, I recommend putting on your thighs so you don’t press the knee, but then if not, then you can pull or press on the knee, pull your knees towards your chest more. This will give you a nice good stretch on the lower back and on the buttock area, hold it for 20 seconds, then you can do it 3 repetitions.
- The third stretch is hamstring stretch. I like using a stretch strap for this but you can use a belt or a bath towel or maybe even a dog leash. You’re going to put the loop or you can hook it around your foot. Pull that leg up with the knee straight Keep the other leg straight and flat on the bed. Make sure when you’re pulling, don’t bring your neck up, don’t strain your neck. You’re going to be pulling with your arms. When you do this and feel the stretch, make sure the knee is straight and hold it. When you feel the stretch of the back of the thigh or sometimes you might feel it on your calves also if your calves are tight, you can hold it there for 20 to 30 seconds and then relax. Then you can do that 3 repetitions on one side and you do it three repetitions on the other side.
Now those are the top three stretches that I recommend for Lumbar Stenosis. They’re so easy to do, they’re pretty basic, but I always believe that if you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, then don’t.
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