What is Cervical Spinal Stenosis?
Cervical spinal stenosis is a bone disease involving the narrowing of the spinal canal at the level of the neck. The narrowing of the spinal column in the area of the neck, known as cervical spinal stenosis, is often the outcome of bulging discs, bone spurs, or an overgrowth of ligaments. It may be congenital, and probably hasn’t been discovered for years. It is frequently due to chronic degeneration and is caused by years of hard manual work or sports injuries.
Symptoms of Cervical Spinal Stenosis
The symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis often worsen year by year. It is quite likely that cervical spinal stenosis remained unnoticed for many years if there is no serious compression on the root nerves of the cervical spine. Slight symptoms may occur, but it is not serious enough to see a doctor. And even if cervical spinal stenosis suffers who has no clear symptoms consults a physician, a general practitioner may have difficulty in finding out the real cause. Early symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis show a lot of different problems, and those symptoms or problems don’t bring too much trouble to them, they are often neglected and remained unnoticed. Unless they become serious, the sufferers may have to ask for emergency treatment.
Diagnosis of Cervical Spinal Stenosis
There are various methods which can be used to diagnose cervical spinal stenosis. The most commonly used means are x-rays, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and a CAT (computerized axial tomography). To confirm the diagnosis, a physician will also examine the patient, inquire for medical history and may carry out a bone scan as well.
Cervical Spinal Stenosis Treatments
Laminotomy may sometimes be used to treat cervical spinal stenosis, through which small parts of the lamina (inside part of the top of the vertebrae are ‘cut’ or got rid of to make more room within the spinal column), or a foraminotomy, where the lower exit in the vertebrae is cut to make room for nerves. Another common surgical treatment, known as cervical corpectomy, is often used to treat cervical spinal stenosis, through which parts or discs of vertebrae are cut to make more room for nerves.
Nonsurgical treatments can relieve inflammation because it consists of non-steroid medications (NSAIDs), physical therapy, and exercise can enhance the strength of stabilizing muscles in the back. Those who suffer from pain or move about with difficulty due to this disease have to do more workouts to make their body more flexible, and this may help relieve the symptoms. Painkillers like Tylenol is also helpful in alleviating pain, and according to some studies, taking supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine orally also provides relief for those sufferers .
Walking proves to be the most effective way to treat cervical spinal stenosis. It can make the back muscles stronger because your back remains in a flexed position when walking.