Stenosis and working out

the hansenator

More than 500 posts
I was recently diagnosed with stenosis between c3-c4 and c4-c5. Which might explain the tingling going down my right arm. I've been seeing a physical therapist and he gave me exercises for posture and mobility and neck strengthening.

Anyway, the doctor told me to avoid overhead exercises like presses and pull ups for now which kind of scraps my workout program. I have a history that makes it hard enough to maintain fitness as it is and I don't want to just stop working out.

So now I'm trying to find things that might be on the approved list (half ups, bent arm hangs?). The doctor was kind of vague and just talked about avoiding overhead movements and if it bothers me don't do it. I realize you can't give medical advice over the internet so I'm just looking for some general guidlines or advice.
 

LukeV

More than 300 posts
I had a shoulder/neck injury that prevented overhead exercising (also dips, basically anything that opened the shoulder) for about two years so I empathise. I experimented with various planes and found that 45 degree incline close grip bench (with elbows tucked) was about as good as I could do so that replaced military press and I could manage cable row with v bar on about the same plane (I had to lean back on the seat to get the right angle) so that replaced pull ups. In both cases I also had to drop weight (increase reps).
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
I have degenerative disk at c5/c6 and c6/c7. I found that continuing with overhead pressing actually made me weaker over time. Lateral shoulder movements help me keep my overhead strength up without training it.

I cannot speak for other folk, but you need to figure out what will work and what won't. High pull is probably the highest you can go without thinking about it. Any higher and the specific angle etc makes a big difference.
 

the hansenator

More than 500 posts
That sounds like a good plan, I'll probably do something like that. I've been doing calisthenics like pushups and inverted rows for the last week or so. Maybe this is a good time to start working toward pistols and airborne lunges.

I've experimented with OS on occasion but never did it consistently. I hear such great things about it, maybe I just haven't done it enough.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
That's encouraging. What kind of exercises are you using? I can only think of lateral dumbell raises.

I mostly use horizontal push and rows. For lateral movements with kettlebell, circular cleans are a good option, and you can do dumbell laterals with a lighter kb. Upright rows are another possibility that can be done by passing a towel through the handle(s).


I came up with a couple of exercises for sandbag as well - all stuff that have the elbow come no higher than my ear, whatever plane/direction can be effective.


As mentioned, I only do a little of this. Mostly just horizontal push pull.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
@the hansenator, get a movement screen. We often end up with injuries because nearby parts aren't work as they're supposed to. I'd want to know if your t-spine mobility is up to par, and if anything else on the FMS was less than 2's on both sides.

-S-
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
It never ceases to amaze me how connected everything is in our bodies. My right knee was hurting - turns out my right hip was tight and nothing to do with my knee.

-S-
 
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