Cervical stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal in the neck narrows, and it tends to cause many recognizable symptoms. For instance, cervical stenosis can lead to pain in the neck, and the pain can also spread into the shoulders, arms and upper back. This condition can also lead to feelings of numbness or tingling in the same areas. Physical therapy plans can be designed to help treat the symptoms of this condition, and there are three techniques that are common to most cervical stenosis physical therapy plans.
- Stretching exercises
One technique often included in physical therapy plans for cervical stenosis is stretching exercises. The symptoms of cervical stenosis are caused by irritation of the cervical nerves in the narrower spinal canal. This irritation can be greater if the neck is out of alignment. Tense neck and shoulder muscles can be one reason for this misalignment. To counteract the tension, physical therapists will show you how to perform stretching exercises that target the neck and shoulder muscles. In turn, these stretches can help reduce muscle tension. This can help realign the spine and reduce nerve irritation.
- Strengthening exercises
Another exercise type physical therapists often include in cervical stenosis physical therapy programs is strengthening exercises. Like tense muscles, weak muscles can also throw off the alignment of the neck. This means that there’s a greater risk of nerve irritation and inflammation when you have cervical stenosis. To help reduce this risk, therapists will prescribe strengthening exercises for the neck and shoulder muscles. The increased strength of these muscles allows them to provide greater support to the cervical spine. This added support can translate into reduced cervical stenosis symptoms.
- Postural reeducation
One issue that can be the root of neck muscle tension and weakness issues is poor head and neck posture. This is why many physical therapy programs for cervical stenosis include postural reeducation. The conveniences of the modern age, such as laptops and cellphones, have many benefits. However, they have also led to a poor posture epidemic.
Think about the posture you fall into when using a laptop or cellphone for long periods of time. Your head slumps forward, and eventually, your neck can start to feel painful. This pain is the result of the high stress the head-forward posture places on the neck, and the stress can also cause muscle tension and weakness.
Physical therapists can target poor posture in several ways. For one thing, they can make recommendations to help you maintain better posture. They can also help you find office equipment that’s more ergonomic, which means it will promote better posture.
Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation offers physical therapy for cervical stenosis
Do you think you might need physical therapy for cervical stenosis? Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation has you covered. Our team can perform a complimentary screening to figure out if cervical stenosis is the root cause of your symptoms. Once this has been confirmed, we can build you an individualized treatment plan to treat your symptoms, and your plan may include therapy techniques like:
Take the next step to get our help with your cervical stenosis symptoms. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.