Cervical stenosis is a condition wherein the spinal canal becomes compressed. When this happens, the spinal cord and the nerves will not have enough space. This may lead to either myelopathy or radiculopathy or worse, a combination of the two called myeloradiculopathy. These conditions are all classified by spinal cord and nerve damages.
Cervical stenosis is often caused by several factors that result in a serious stage of compression in the spine. Factors that contribute to cervical stenosis include the following:
– Excessive bone growth due to degenerative arthritis
– Increase in size of the ligament below the covering of the spinal canal
– Small pedicles (bones that outline the wall of the spinal canal)
– Rheumatoid arthritis
– Ossification (ligament that abnormally turns into a bone)
Several symptoms of cervical stenosis include the following:
– Neck pain
– Pain and numbness in the arms
– Electrical sensation from the neck down to the lower back
As it progresses, weakening of the arms can be felt causing loss of hand coordination. In severe cases of cervical stenosis, loss of bladder and bowel control is experienced. Also, pain and numbness in the legs and feet are present causing difficulty in walking.
Whatever the symptoms you are experiencing, cervical stenosis does not worsen most of the time and does not really progress its symptoms. A lot of people who are suffering from cervical stenosis never really experienced too many symptoms at all. However, it is still best to consult a physician immediately to avoid any risks.
Severe symptoms enough for you to seek immediate treatment can be experienced sometimes but it does not mean that it cannot be controlled. Whatever symptoms of cervical stenosis are felt, it can be controlled using a combination of medical and physical treatments. Doctor-prescribed medicines and physical therapy are proven to be very effective in treating cervical stenosis. Talk to your physician to know what methods of treatment are suitable for you and if both medical and physical treatments do not work, your last option is surgery.
There are two types of surgery, namely, anterior cervical fusion and posterior laminectomy. And if it is the only solution, you should know the type of surgery that will work for your condition. Surgery can be done from either front or back of the neck depending on the main cause and location of the cervical stenosis.
If you are suffering from cervical stenosis, regardless of whether you constantly experience symptoms or not it is best that you consult a doctor immediately to avoid risks of complications.