3 Types of Lower Back Pain – Part 3: Stenosis/Osteoarthritis | Nose Creek Physiotherapy
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3 Types of Lower Back Pain – Part 3: Stenosis/Osteoarthritis

Hey Folks, Blair Schachterle from Nose Creek Physiotherapy. Today, we're going to talk about stenosis in the lower back, and it's more of a degenerative condition that can give you sciatica as well. Our description of the typical patient we see with stenosis in the clinic is they're going to be 50 years old or greater, they're going to get pain when they walk, they're going to get pain when they stand, and they're going to get pain relief when they actually sit because they're flexing, opening up the impingement on the nerve in their lower back. If we look at the nerve canals that come out of our spinal column, how you make that space smaller is just through wear and tear, but mechanically you can make it smaller by simply bending backwards, side bending to the painful side, and then rotating away from that painful side will actually cause the hole to get narrower. So you want to avoid those movements if you can. 

What you can do at home to help you is basically what we call flexion exercises, which will help open up and make the hole bigger where the nerve is being pinched. A lot of my patients, I'll tell them, lie down on a heating pad for a good 15 to 20 minutes and then you want to pull your knees to your chest if you can, five times, and then repeat that if you can to give you some pain relief. Let's demonstrate that right now. So we're going to lie down on the mat here. Get the heating pad underneath your back and just very gently going grab behind your knee and pull up as far as you can comfortably and hold there for five seconds. After five seconds I simply lie the leg down, and then try the opposite side.

So we're just doing one leg at a time initially and holding for five seconds and then down. Once I've done five times on both sides, I can rest for maybe five minutes. Then if that felt comfortable, there wasn't any increase in pain, then you can actually graduate to grabbing both legs and pulling up to get that flexion going in your lower back and again, hold for five and then relax for five to take some pressure off that nerve in your back. You can do this at home, we call these “knees to chest exercises”. Purpose of these flexion exercises is to open up that hole where the nerve is being pinched in your lower back.

If that describes you, a family member, friend, or a co-worker that's experienced that pain, then definitely share this video with them so they can get some pain relief. If it's a weekend or if they can't get in to see us right away, then give these exercises a try. Then comment below if you found that helpful or if you have any other questions, we'd love to help you. My name is Blair Schachterle from Nose Creek Sport Physiotherapy where we get you moving faster and feeling better. Take care, folks. Have a great day. Bye-bye.

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Blair Schachterle
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