7 Things to Avoid with Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Studies show that cervical stenosis affects nearly 5% of the adult population and becomes increasingly common as people age. This can lead to other health problems, like neck pain, problems with balance, and even loss of function in the hands. 

To prevent your cervical spinal stenosis from progressing, you must learn what activities you should avoid. Do you want to learn more about things to avoid with cervical spinal stenosis? 

Keep reading this article for the top seven activities you should stop doing if you have this condition. 

1. Waiting for It to Heal

When you have back pain, you may think that it will go away on its own. In many situations, this is true. However, cervical stenosis is not the same as other common sources of back pain.

If you don’t get medical help for your condition, it will worsen over time. By simply waiting for your condition to heal or disappear, it will continue to progress and will never go away without intervention. 

Instead, you need to be active in finding ways to improve your condition. Many recommended programs can help you improve your mobility and reduce your pain. If you want help finding ways to heal or finding a spinal stenosis specialist, you can view more on spine rehab here. 

2. Contact Sports

Being active is important to improving your back pain. However, it is best to find low-impact exercise. If you choose to play sports like basketball and soccer, it can lead to sudden impacts and contact with other players. 

Even if you are very careful while playing sports, this can cause tears or fractures and will worsen your neck and back pain. Because of this, it is best to avoid any contact sports. 

3. Sitting Without Support

Next, you need to avoid sitting for too long without support. When you are sitting or standing in the same position, it can cause more pressure on your spinal nerves. You can avoid this by regularly changing your position when you are sitting. 

You can also use other supports while you are resting to keep your spine in a comfortable position. You can use extra pillows or even rolled-up towels to support your neck and spine. 

4. Long Walks or Running

It is also important that you avoid long walks or running when you have spinal stenosis. While exercise is important to improve your condition, doing the wrong kind of exercise can cause your conditions to worsen. 

When you walk or run, your feet are pounding on a hard surface, which can be bad for your spine. If you want to walk, you should try doing it on a soft surface.

Other exercises you can try include swimming, ellipticals, or even cycling. Low impact sports like these are easier on your back and will still help you improve your health. 

5. Too Much Bed Rest

After hurting their backs, many people go on bed rest to try to recover. While some rest is important to improve your back pain symptoms, having too much bed rest can place a further strain on your back. 

This is because it will cause your muscles to atrophy, which will cause more strain and inflammation on your spine. 

Instead, it is best to move around as much as you can throughout the day. If you are sitting or laying down, it is best to change your positions and stretch your neck and shoulders to keep your muscles active. 

6. Certain Stretches

While certain types of stretches can improve your cervical spinal stenosis, others can worsen your condition and pain. Because of this, it is important to know what types of stretches to avoid when you have cervical spinal stenosis. 

First, you should avoid extreme back extension stretches. This is when people will stand up and lean back as far as they can. People commonly use these stretches after sitting for long periods. 

However, this will put a lot of pressure on your back and can worsen your symptoms. 

Other stretches you should avoid include the cobra, the bridge, and anything else that will cause you to hyperextend your back. 

When you are stretching, you should also avoid stretching in a standing position. The gravity will put extra stress on your spine, which will not help your spinal stenosis. Instead, you can start stretching while lying down to avoid more stress on your back. 

7. Certain Exercises

Finally, there are certain exercises that you should also avoid when you are dealing with cervical spine stenosis. For example, you must avoid free weights. While strengthening your back can help you support your spine and improve your posture, free weight exercises often lead to injuries. 

You must avoid rounded back exercises. This can destabilize the muscles surrounding your spine, which will affect the discs in your back. Similar to stretching, you shouldn’t do any exercises that cause you to overextend your back, like the superman pose. 

Avoiding any exercise that puts excessive force on your back will help you prevent the worsening of your symptoms. 

Instead of free weights, you can try using a weight machine. These are designed to support your back and body while you are exercising, so they will help you improve your form. 

Learn More About Things to Avoid With Cervical Spinal Stenosis

There are certain things to avoid with cervical spinal stenosis, including exercises, activities, and habits that can worsen your condition. To help, you can find a spinal stenosis specialist for spinal stenosis treatment. They can provide you with customized health advice for your needs and can aid in your recovery.

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