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Exercise/Core work before Neurosurgeon consult?

As per my previous post http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/neck-pain-cervical/just-had-mri-result-sereve-scervical-spinal-canal-stenosis, I got my MRI result last week and the conclusion is I have severe cervical spinal canal stenosis at C3-4 and C4-5 level, with multi-level cervical intervertebral foraminial narrowing (mainly c4-5 right and C3-4 both sides) due to combination of uncovertebral and facetal degeneration. Also mentions mild cord compression but no myelopathic changes seen within the cord.

As my neck isn't covered on my medical insurance (its a pre-exisiting condition) I have to wait to see someone on the NHS (I live in the UK). Frustratingly first appointment isn't until Dec.

While I am awaiting the consultation I would like to try and maintain my fitness and workout, but also to do what I can in terms of stopping any further degeneration of the area (whether thats exercises, diet, supplments etc), I spoke to my GP again to get advice on exercise and seeing the osteopath (who I'd been seeing every 2 weeks). Doc said okay to stick with the gym but go light/take it easy and to stop the Osteopath sessions until I've seen the surgeon. Not sure why he said to stop the Osteopath, unless there is concern about the manipulation?

Anyway, in terms of excercises, what do you guys recommend? I would like to lift, but I'm scared of damaging things further so I was thinking that instead I would just do cardio, stretching and perhaps core exercises to strength my back and neck? Any tips of what to do, avoid, good exercise sites or books for people with cervical stenosis, etc? Would it be worth me booking an appointment with Physio Therapist or should I wait until the consult?



  • Your best bet would be to discuss safe excercises with a physical therapist. Since none of us are doctors, we can't recommend any particular excercises based on what would be safe for you to do or not . Severe cervical stenosis means that you do need to be careful so I would strongly recommend that you talk to your regular doctor and a physical therapist until you see the surgeon . Also the manipulations could be dangerous until you see the surgeon, so I wouldn't allow those either at this point.
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