Q: Dr. Jimenez, I read one of your articles about physical therapy and spinal stenosis exercises that focus on stretches for relieving pain. I was wondering if it was also possible to do aerobic exercise with a spinal condition and can you recommend a safe cardiovascular program?
I’m a 65-year-old with spinal stenosis, and I want to stay in shape. I try to ride a stationary bike for 20 minutes at least 2 times a week, but with my low back pain, I don’t always finish the workout.
A: I do recommend aerobic exercise for everyone, but especially for people with spinal conditions.
Aerobic exercise increases the blood flow to the body’s tissues, and people with high levels of cardiovascular fitness generally do better dealing with spinal problems.
However, before anyone with a spine condition or any medical condition for that matter, starts a wellness and fitness program, they should check with their primary caregiver, to clear the individual as fit to exercise.
Example: Someone with cardiovascular (heart problems) can have restrictions when it comes to certain types of exercise.
A physical exam will make sure your body is ready for exercise.
These are excellent examples of low-impact aerobic exercise. They increase heart rate and are easy on the body.
It can be tiring, but if recommended by a caregiver/therapist, then realize they did so for a reason/s to get you healthy.
By biking, you are building up endurance, and that is exactly what you want, as it speeds up recovery.
If exercise does begin to increase back pain or another type of pain, tell your caregiver or physical therapist right away.
The phrase, no pain, no gain does not apply when there are spinal conditions. So do not try to push through the pain or think that the hurt is good.
Also, do not try to do take on too much right away. Even if you feel good, follow the fitness plan.
But if you want to mix it up, discuss with your chiropractor/physical therapist if adding walking and swimming to the plan will be beneficial, as well.
It can be tempting to not exercise with a spinal condition. But remember that if there is no movement at all, you could make the pain worse. Knowing what your body can handle and sticking to a workable schedule, these healthy steps will relieve you and help with your low back pain.
Daniel Alvarado, the owner of Push-as-RX Fitness, discusses how he carries out his PUSHasRx Functional Fitness Workouts personal injury rehabilitation and athletic training program as a part of Dr. Alex Jimenez’s chiropractic rehabilitation plan.
Physical therapy (PT), also referred to as physiotherapy, is one of the allied health professions which, by utilizing mechanical force and motions (bio-mechanics or kinesiology), manual therapy, exercise therapy, and electrotherapy, remediates impairments and promotes mobility and purpose.
Physical therapy is used to enhance a patient’s quality of life through:
Exercise is an essential part of good health. It can help with weight loss and plays a crucial role in preventing many chronic health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Regular exercise has also been shown to help with depression and anxiety. It is what nature intended; as humans, we are supposed to be active. The more active you are, the better you will look and feel – and the healthier you will be.
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