Spinal stenosis, or spinal canal stenosis, is the narrowing of the central canal that protects the spinal cord. It is a common condition that is often unavoidably related to the natural aging process. Although there is no real method to prevent this condition, there are several tips and lifestyle choices that you can follow to reduce the probabilities to develop canal stenosis later in life.
Follow good spine health choices
When the narrowing of the spinal canal results in the compression of the spinal cord or any exiting nerve root, it can cause a variety of painful and/or uncomfortable symptoms. Spinal stenosis can often be traced back to the presence of degenerative spine conditions like herniated discs, osteoarthritis and spondylolisthesis — conditions developed due to aging or years of wear and tear.
Find below four tips to help keep your spine healthy and reduce the chance to develop degenerative spine conditions like canal stenosis in the future:
- Avoid repetitive bending, twisting and lifting. Repeated flexion and extension takes a toll on the spinal anatomy and can gradually cause problems to occur. For example, if you have a job that requires heavy lifting, make sure to use the lifting techniques you’ve been taught to reduce strain on your neck and back. Also make sure to wear proper shoes and protective gear such as a back brace.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, it can add to the stress being placed on spinal anatomy. With time, this excess body weight can speed up the degenerative process, causing neck and back problems like canal stenosis to develop later in life.
- Don’t play high-impact sports. Spinal degeneration is often traced to participation in high-impact sports like football, hockey and golf. In addition to the potential for injury, these sports often entail jarring movements and hard hits that can make the spine more susceptible to long-term damage.
- Take frequent breaks from sitting. Because prolonged sitting is hard on your spine, the best thing you can do is to take frequent breaks and move around. If you have an office job, get up and walk around whenever you can.
Canal Stenosis Treatment
By assessing the risk factors that can contribute to the development of spinal stenosis, it’s possible to reduce the likelihood of developing this condition. However, if you are diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition, there are effective treatments that can help you enjoy your daily life and living life in full motion.
Most cases only require conservative treatment options like rest, medication, physical therapy, hot and cold compression and/or spinal injections. If conservative treatment have not brought relief, surgery can become an option.