Re: Lumbar spinal stenosis + osteoporosis (80 year old mom)
Thank you very much for your reply.
She has not seen a surgeon yet; she's been home only a week, and started PT last Thursday. She'll continue PT 3x/week and return to the epidural doc next Monday for further evaluation.
At her first PT appointment, the therapist explained that her symptoms are due to the spinal stenosis, not the bulging disk. So, I'm wondering how exercises can improve that, except to strengthen the muscles to help support the structures and keep them aligned.
I am so glad that she is active and regularly exercises on her own. She was widowed 3 years ago, but continued to exercise and take care of herself. She's been going to Curves almost daily for 8 years, and the ladies there call her "the human pretzel" because she is very flexible. She's also a hospital volunteer and prefers a role in which she can walk around instead of sit at a desk.
Let me tell you ---- exercise makes all the difference! After 3 weeks in the hospital, most 80-year-olds would be so weak after returning home that they'd want to just sit in a chair. No, not her --- yesterday she did a little dusting of the furniture, and has been sorting through her Christmas items before putting them away for another year. She does what she can until pain flares up, then sits until it subsides, and gets up and walks around again.
I believe the true cause of her flare-ups is STRESS and DOING TOO MUCH. I don't understand exactly how stress sets things in motion to act as a catalyst of a spinal stenosis flare-up, but that is the common denominator both times. By her own admission, she tends to be compulsive about "getting things done". I try to encourage her to set aside one or two days a week for those things.