The vast majority of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives, especially in the lower back. Lumbar spinal stenosis is often the culprit. And while you’re not alone in your suffering, that doesn’t lessen the pain you're feeling. However, natural treatments offer an excellent way to relieve symptoms and enhance your quality of life in general.
No matter what treatment you choose, treating stenosis requires long-term commitment and maintenance. Initially, finding relief from spinal stenosis can be frustrating, since different types of treatment work for different people. It may take some trial and experimentation to find which treatment or combination of treatments works best for you.
Whether you’ve had surgery that didn’t work or have ruled it out because you’re not willing to undergo an invasive and potentially risky treatment, chances are you’ve tried other methods to find relief. For instance, you may have had epidural steroid injections and taken oral anti-inflammatories. Along the way, you’ve likely also sought advice from a variety of experts and physicians such as internists, spinal specialists, rheumatologists, and/or neurologists, but so far traditional medical treatments haven’t given you relief.
Although discouraging, this isn’t cause to give up your fight for back pain relief. There are many natural treatment methods that may bring some relief and improve your quality of life immensely.
Tips for Relieving Spinal Stenosis Pain
Natural, nonsurgical methods aim for symptom relief, rather than improving the narrowing of the spinal canal. A variety of natural treatments and therapies are bringing excellent results to many spinal stenosis sufferers. Consider the following treatments and health strategies. You may find that a combination of these tips will slow degeneration and ease your back pain:
- Rest and use support when needed. Initially, some patients get slight relief by leaning forward or sitting down, which increases space for the nerves, decreasing pressure. You may feel better while leaning on a support, like a shopping cart.
- Schedule physical therapy. Specific stretching and strengthening exercises and massage techniques often help keep symptoms in check, if done regularly. You'll also be coached on proper standing position to relieve back pressure: decompress your spine/relieve pain by standing with pelvis tilted forward to flatten the back.
- Exercise regularly. Emphasize activity done smoothly, in a forward-flexed position, without jarring or straining the back. For example, ride a stationary bike or go swimming rather than jogging.
- Concentrate on strengthening core muscles. This includes building up the back and stomach muscles as well as thighs and buttocks. A strong core helps you maintain correct posture, reducing strain, tension and fatigue.
- Don’t smoke, or quit ASAP. Smoking may cause spinal discs to wear/degenerate faster.
- Follow an anti-inflammatory diet. Include fatty fish such as salmon and herring, supplementing with high-quality fish oil to ensure your body is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, as are curcumin (turmeric) and the supplements bromelain (derived from pineapple stems), nattokinase (derived from soybeans), serrapeptase (silkworm enzyme) and papain (papaya enzyme).
- Maintain a normal weight. It makes moving easier in general.
Although you may find that relieving spinal stenosis pain naturally requires a combination of lifestyle changes, once changes become a habit, back pain may be a thing of the past.
At the Illinois Back Institute we strive to educate everyone as much as possible about their back pain and sciatica, because it is proven that the more people know about their problem the more likely they are to eliminate it!
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