Cervical Spinal Stenosis
Cervical spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column in the neck area. With the narrowing of the spinal column comes pressure on nerves causing many symptoms. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include neck pain, change in gait, numbness in hands and arms, body weakness, difficulty walking and even paralysis. If left untreated, loss of bladder and bowel control can happen. In most cases of cervical spinal stenosis people become less active in their everyday life. Though many times physical therapy can be a huge advantage to relieve symptoms. Cervical spinal stenosis is considered a bone disease. There are many things that can contribute to the severity of cervical spinal stenosis including, but not limited to, bones spurs, osteoarthritis, degenerative disk disease, and aging in general. It is fairly common in people over the age of 50 and is a progressive disease that usually gets worse over time.
Diagnosis is obtained by a physicians examination, x-rays, and/or a MRI. Surgery is often times needed for treatment in more severe cases while exercise and physical therapy can help those with mild cases. WebMD states that surgical treatment for cervical stenosis involves widening of the spinal canal. If the nerve roots become irritated an injection of corticosteroid can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Medications such as pain relievers, SSRI's, and even anti-seizure medicine may be prescribed. Clinical trials are still being tested for effective treatments. Seek medical attention if you or a loved one may suffer from cervical spinal stenosis. Talk to your doctor about which treatment is right for you.