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Physical Therapy for Spinal Stenosis

Treatment Overview

The purpose of physical therapy is to decrease your pain and help you slowly return to your normal activities. It may reduce pain in the soft tissues, such as your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It may also improve function and build muscle strength. A physical therapist provides these treatments.

Treatments may include:

  • Stretching.
  • Strengthening exercise.
  • Learning other ways of doing your activities—ways that don't cause pain or make other symptoms worse.
  • Other therapies like heat, ice, and massage.

Your therapist also may use other techniques to help relieve your symptoms and keep them from getting worse. These include:

  • Changing position often to avoid staying in postures that compress the spine.
  • Taking breaks between activities, like walking and yard work, that may strain your back.
  • Using proper lifting, pushing, and pulling.

Your doctor or physical therapist will design a program that fits your physical fitness, normal level of activity, and your amount of pain.

Credits

Current as of: February 11, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma

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