Spinal Stenosis Exercises to Avoid- Recommendations and Tips

Spinal Stenosis Exercises to avoid

Spinal Stenosis is a condition that results from abnormal narrowing of the Spinal Canal or Neural Foramen. If you are suffering from this medical injury, you will feel pressure on your spinal cord, or else, nerve roots. There are several causes of Spinal Stenosis such as Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, spinal tumors, and trauma, etc. In some cases, it can be cured by performing some exercises, but others can also worsen the conditions. Therefore, doctors recommend that we should avoid doing those exercises that can flare up this medical condition. If you are curious to know more, we will cover Spinal Stenosis Exercises to Avoid.

 Spinal Stenosis Exercises to Avoid

Back pain in Spinal Stenosis is different from other conditions. In some situations, our back pain alleviates if we lay down or rest. It is an entirely different situation in which our back pain can worsen if we do some exercises without any consultation. Check out below about which physical activities you must avoid.

1) Long Walks or Running

Long walks

Although jogging and running are classified as low-impact exercises, they can be harmful to you in spinal stenosis. Any kind of wrong move can be detrimental to you. Therefore, avoid performing long walks and running when you are running on pavement. It can hurt you. These walks and running can cause muscle fatigue which can increase the strain on your spine.

2) Back Extension Stretches

Back extension stretches

It is a wise decision to avoid extension stretches. If we perform back extension it further narrows our spinal canal and it can exacerbate our stenosis issues. When we stand straight or put our hands on our hips, and lean back, all this comes under back extension stretches. Many international studies favor that these back extension stretches can make you feel worse. 

3) Heavy Weight Lifting Exercises

Spinal Stenosis exercises to avoid

When we lift weight above the waist, it can cause pressure on our spine leading to its narrowing down. Therefore, we must avoid lifting any heavy-weight exercises exclusively above the waist. Some specific exercises such as snatch, dead-lift, squat, clean, and jerk are not good for us. Apart from this, it also includes some daily activities that include weight-lifting. Next time include weight lifting among the list of Spinal Stenosis Exercises to avoid.

4) Avoid Twisting and Bending

Avoid Twisting and Bending

If we are going through spinal stenosis, we must avoid any kind of exercises that involve bending or twisting. Some motions involve bending and it can harm our spine as it has already become weak. Even some low-impact sports such as golf require swing and bending, therefore, you must change your priority at once. Because narrowing down your spine more can lead to unbearable pain. Some twisting exercises like Russian exercise, seated spinal twists can worsen the situation by compressing the spine more.

5) High Impact Sports

Spinal Stenosis Exercises to avoid

We should avoid High Impact Sports and Contact sports when we are suffering from this ailment. Football, Hockey, Soccer, Martial Arts, Boxing, Gymnastics, Wrestling, Rugby, Basketball, Volleyball are some examples of high-impact sports. Apart from this, we should not play contact sports because it involves physical contact with the competitors. It can worsen our backache and make us feel frustrated. Some examples of contact sports are Australian Rules Football, American Football, Wrestling, and Various forms of Full-contact Karate.

So, these are certain Spinal Stenosis exercises to avoid. 

Can Exercise Help in Treating Spine Stenosis?

As we have seen some exercises can increase our pain during this ailment. On the contrary, some such physical activities can help to deal with the severity of this condition. Let’s take a look at some supporting measures.

1) Swimming and water Exercises

Swimming and water exercises

When you perform physical activities such as swimming and water exercises, it can alleviate your problems. A properly trained swimming athlete can make their spine and joints relaxed easing the pain symptoms. This happens because water buoyancy reduces the impact on your spine. Swimming exercise also works to improve strength and flexibility in our body.

2) Core Strengthening Exercises

Core Strength Exercises

Another important activity that can help us get relief from stenosis is core strengthening exercises. These exercises help as they provide strength to our core muscles giving support to the spine. This leads to a reduction in back pain. Hence, if you want to get rid of pain, you should focus on core strengthening exercises.

3) Leg Raises

Leg Raises

Leg raises provide a pillar of support to human beings in treating spine stenosis. Therefore, lying down on your back, and then gently lifting and lowering your legs will help in strengthening your lower back and muscles. Hence, it will be a big relief to treat the anomaly in the spine.

These are a few examples of how exercise can play a double-edged sword in this condition. While some Spinal Stenosis exercises to avoid, others can provide relief in treating the disability in the spine.

 Some Key Tips to Deal with Spinal Stenosis

Dealing with any complications can be difficult for us. Therefore, when performing exercises during any medical complication, you must take care of some tips to heal yourself early.

1) Before you want to start any exercises in Spinal Stenosis, you must consult with your doctor. They will also suggest some cautions that will help you in reducing the stress on the spine.

2) Avoid all those activities that put stress on the spine and compress it.

3) You should talk to your physical therapist regarding correct posture and body mechanics. Also, consult them with modifications in your home environment if any.

The Epilogue

In conclusion, we can infer that Spinal Stenosis is a critical condition that needs adequate attention and physical care. It is essential to approach those exercises that can improve your condition instead of ameliorating it. If you focus on low-impact and spine-friendly exercises, you will ensure to heal gradually. Doing a lifestyle change can help you improve. Above all, you must have a thorough knowledge of Spinal Stenosis Exercises to avoid it. Also ensure to prevent any kind of disability in spine during this medical ailment.


1) Which exercises can worsen your condition in Spinal Stenosis?

Some exercises can worsen our conditions during Spinal Stenosis. To name a few are high-impact exercises, contact sports, and high-impact sports.

2) Is it Ok to not move at all during Spinal Stenosis?

No, it is not OK to not move at all during this medical issue because it can increase your spinal pain. Although some exercises may seem daunting to you, you must know which exercise will work to improve. Long-time bed rest also leads to atrophy muscles and it can raise your complications.

3) Is walking a good exercise?

Yes, walking can help you if you are walking on a smooth surface and not on pavement. Also, walking time should be quite flexible. Walk for a short time if you want to improve the ailment. Because long walks and running can put even more strain on your spine.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here