In this article
Review some of the most commonly asked questions about Cervical Stenosis:
What is Cervical Stenosis?
Cervical stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal in the neck narrows, leading to compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots. This can result in a range of symptoms including neck pain, numbness and tingling in the arms, weakness in the arms and legs, and difficulty with coordination and balance.
What Causes Cervical Stenosis?
The exact cause of cervical stenosis is unknown, but it can develop as a result of aging, spinal injuries, or degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, disc herniations and overgrowth of the internal spinal ligaments. Typically, a combination of factors will lead to cervical stenosis.
What Are The Symptoms You Should Look Out For?
Cervical stenosis can develop slowly over time, such that patients may not notice the early symptoms for many months or years until their level of function is significantly affected. If there is compression of the spinal cord, which can occur without neck pain, there can be difficulty maintaining balance, trouble walking or trouble with fine movement of the fingers and hands.
If there is nerve root compression, pain, numbness or tingling may radiate from the neck down the affected arm. If the symptoms are due to degenerative disc disease, disc herniation or osteoarthritis of the spine, patients can have neck pain in addition to the symptoms from compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots.
What Are Treatment Options?
Treatment depends on the degree of spinal cord compression or nerve root compression and the severity of symptoms. In many cases, treatment starts with conservative methods such as physical therapy, pain medication, and lifestyle changes.
If these methods are not effective or if there is significant spinal cord compression or nerve root compression, more invasive options such as epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, or surgery may be recommended.
Surgery may involve removing a portion of a vertebral disc, removing a bone spur, or decompressing the spinal cord and nerve roots with a procedure called cervical laminectomy. The goal of treatment is to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots, thereby reducing pain and improving function.
It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of cervical stenosis, as prompt treatment can help prevent further nerve damage and preserve mobility.