Cervical Stenosis

Cervical Stenosis—An Overview of the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

cervical stenosis

Cervical stenosis, also known as cervical spinal stenosis, is a condition in which the spinal canal becomes narrowed at the neck, putting pressure on the nerves that run through it. Cervical stenosis has the potential to cause damage to the spinal cord, resulting in pain, as well as other uncomfortable sensations that may be felt in the torso, arms, and legs. While there is no cure, there are a few treatment options for pain management. Most individuals with the condition find they are able to live full and normal lives.

The Causes of Cervical Stenosis

The spine runs from the neck to the lower back, where bones form a canal that protect the nerves. While some individuals are simply born with a narrow spinal canal, most cases of cervical stenosis result from a number of other factors that lead to severe spinal cord compression. Here are some common causes of cervical stenosis:

  • Arthritis is the leading cause of this condition.
  • Osteoarthritis can result in disc changes which puts pressure on your spinal cord and nerves.
  • Herniated discs can compress the spinal cord or nerves.
  • Traumatic injuries may fracture or cause areas of the spine to become inflamed.
  • Tumors that grow on or near the spinal cord may develop into this condition.
  • Chronic diseases such as Paget’s disease cause bones to grow and become brittle which may narrow the spinal canal and affect the nerves.

The Symptoms of Cervical Stenosis

Not everyone who has this condition will have symptoms. However, if symptoms are present, they usually follow the same pattern which includes back pain, stiffness, and numbness. More symptoms of cervical stenosis may include:

  • Neck pain
  • Arm pain or numbness
  • Weakness in the arms or hands resulting in the loss of coordination
  • Tingling sensation down the back when moving your head
  • Advanced cases can result in the loss of bladder or bowel control

Treatment Options for Cervical Stenosis

Depending on the severity of the condition, symptoms can be managed with medication or in more serious cases, surgery may be recommended. Fortunately, doctors are likely to provide non-invasive treatment options to relieve the pressure on your spinal cord before allowing symptoms to become severe. Some treatment options for cervical stenosis may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Strength and flexibility exercises
  • Physiotherapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Minimally invasive decompression surgery

Medical advancements have made it possible to treat cervical stenosis using minimally invasive techniques that offer patients numerous benefits which include smaller incisions and quicker recovery times. Talk to your doctor to find out if spine surgery is the right option for treating your cervical stenosis. Elderly patients up to 100 years of age may now be candidates for surgery. In addition, patients with weak hearts, poor lung function, diabetes, and kidney disease are now candidates for surgery because of improvements in anesthesia techniques. At our clinic, spine surgery may be performed with moderate sedation instead of general anesthesia. This allows patients to recover faster with fewer complications and less pain medicine.

Contact us today to learn more about cervical stenosis or to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists. We’ll find a solution that works for you! Call us at (601) 366-1011.