Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 11, 2017
As we get older, our spinal canal often starts to narrow. Whether this happens in the cervical spine or the lumbar spine, it can often lead to nerve compression and pain. While there’s no surefire way to reverse the natural narrowing of our spinal canal, there are some things you can do to limit and help prevent excessive narrowing. Here are five ways to help slow down narrowing of the spinal canal.
The vast majority of treatment options for spine issues involve some sort of exercise regimen. Exercise helps strengthen tissues and spinal structures, and it also helps slow the narrowing of the spinal canal. Strive for 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 3-5 times a week.
This one goes hand-in-hand with the above point, but research shows that excess weight can speed up the narrowing of the spinal canal because obesity can overstress certain areas of the spine. If you want to help stave off spinal canal narrowing, try to get your BMI to a healthy level.
If you want your spine to stay healthy into your retirement years, you have to treat it well when you’re younger. This means paying attention to your posture throughout your day. Avoid slouching at your desk or hunching over your phone to send a text. The more you strain and stress your spine, the more likely you are to suffer from problematic spinal canal narrowing as you get older.
Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of general back pain as well as specific problems like disc herniations and spinal stenosis. Smoking restricts healthy blood flow and in turn can increase the rate at which the spinal canal narrows.
Stretch Each Day
If you don’t have time to exercise each day, try to find a couple of minutes to stretch your back. Stretching works to build flexibility in your spine and strengthens ligaments between your vertebrae. These strong ligaments help to prevent the onset of degenerative diseases that contribute to narrowing of the spinal canal.
For more ways to prevent narrowing of the spinal canal, or to talk to a spine specialist about your pain, contact Dr. Sinicropi today.