Tips for dealing with spinal stenosis
The more summery the temperatures, the more people are drawn outside. Around a quarter of Germans go for walks several times a week. But some of them feel unsafe on foot and tire quickly when walking. Common reason: A narrowing of the spinal cord due to wear causes excruciating pain in the buttocks and legs and turns every walk into an ordeal. Affected people can hardly walk 100 meters at a time and take breaks so that complaints subside. Although age-related signs of wear and tear on the spine cannot be completely avoided, Dr. Thomas Bierstedt, spinal surgeon and specialist in neurosurgery from the Orthopedic-Neurosurgical Center in Datteln and Recklinghausen, provides helpful tips that at least alleviate or delay the painful consequences. In the case of persistent severe pain and if conservative measures do not bring relief, the flexible spine stabilization ensures permanent pain relief.
Always on the move Movement is the be-all and end-all, because especially with protection, there is a risk of worsening of the symptoms. "The consequences of a lack of muscle activity can be seen within a week," says Dr. Bierstedt from many years of experience. "Adequate physical exertion, on the other hand, strengthens the back and abdominal muscles, which support the spine like a body's own corset." Movement can be integrated well into everyday life - the back remains better trained through regular changes in posture between sitting, standing and walking.
Sports that take the pressure Sports that are carried out with a slight forward torso relief alleviate complaints of spinal stenosis, as this widens the spinal canal and relieves the constant pressure on nerves and vessels. These include, for example, cycling, Nordic walking, rowing, sailing or swimming. "Regular gymnastics with a strong forward tilt provide relief as well as fast walking and jogging," explains the spinal surgeon.
Avoiding obesity Specialists also recommend avoiding overloading due to excessive obesity, since the load and body weight push the vertebral joints closer together. This puts pressure on the nerves and promotes spinal stenosis.
Rethinking lifestyle habits Basically, people with back problems should rethink their lifestyle habits and discard old movement patterns. Back-friendly behavior such as lifting heavy loads from the knees already leads to a reduction in symptoms.
Obtain a second opinion before the operation If patients notice the first signs of spinal stenosis such as numbness, pain in the legs and lumbar region or in the buttocks, specialist doctors first treat them with the help of conservative measures. If these do not work, relieving the spinal canal from the symptoms relieves the symptoms. "However, those affected should seek detailed advice before the procedure," recommends Dr. Bierstedt. “A stiffening surgery is often followed by extensive pressure relief. However, patients today also have movement-preserving alternatives such as flexible spinal stabilization. ”With this method - also known as the TOPS system - patients achieve permanent pain relief without loss of mobility.