It can be surprising to learn that a big part of degenerative spine treatment involves physical activity and regular exercise. In some ways, this may seem counterintuitive because when you are experiencing prolonged neck or back pain, engaging in these activities may be uncomfortable. However, doctor-approved exercise can improve the strength and flexibility of the spine, potentially helping to take pressure off of pinched spinal nerves that are often the source of symptoms.
Five Recommended Exercises for Degenerative Spine Treatment
While exercise can be highly effective as part of a degenerative spine treatment plan, not all exercises are appropriate. Generally speaking, any physical activity that puts additional strain on the spine or features excessive bending, twisting, or lifting should be avoided. Doctors and physical therapists recommend low-impact exercises as part of degenerative spine treatment. Here are five quick examples:
- Walking. This exercise is extremely easy to incorporate into your daily routine and can profoundly impact your health. Many patients enjoy starting their morning or winding down the evening with a nice stroll around the neighborhood to get their heart rate up, boost their metabolism and enjoy the outdoors.
- Cycling. Taking a bike ride or hopping on a stationary bike is a great way to exercise without straining the spine. Make sure the bicycle or stationary bike allows you to maintain a comfortable posture.
- Swimming. Swimming is one of the best types of degenerative spine treatment because it places minimal strain on the spine and works the whole body. Warm pool water can even offer hydrotherapeutic benefits.
- Elliptical machines. Many people enjoy elliptical machines as an alternative to treadmills and other gym equipment because these machines incorporate resistance to the workout, which makes exercise more interesting and also targets different muscles in the body than standard cardio equipment.
- Yoga, pilates, and other stretching techniques. Gentle stretches can be extremely beneficial toward improving core strength and making the muscles that support the spine more flexible.
Stay in close partnership with your doctor and tell him or her about any new forms of exercise you are attempting. Listen to your body and stop at the first sign of excessive discomfort or overexertion.
BEST Health System
You may begin to consider surgery if you have exhausted all conservative therapies for your degenerative spine condition. At BEST Health System, we promote minimally-invasive surgery techniques to make your treatment experience more positive.
Our board-certified surgeons specialize in minimally invasive spine and orthopaedic procedures. This means that our patients can enjoy shorter recovery times and less scarring, all on an outpatient basis. Contact our team today to learn more about the outpatient procedures with BEST Health System.