Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

You'll have regular follow-up appointments with your doctor to monitor your condition. He or she may suggest that you incorporate several home treatments into your life, including:

  • Trying pain relievers. Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen (Aleve, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Applying hot or cold packs.Some symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis may be relieved by applying heat or ice to your neck.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Aim to keep a healthy weight. If you're overweight or obese, your doctor may recommend that you lose weight. Losing excess weight can reduce pain by taking some stress off the back, particularly the lumbar portion of the spine.
  • Exercising. Flexing, stretching and strengthening exercises may help open up the spine. Talk with a physical therapist or your doctor about what exercises are safe to do at home.
  • Using a cane or walker. In addition to providing stability, these assistive devices can help relieve pain by allowing you to bend forward while walking.