What Is to Know About Cervical Spinal Stenosis?

What is cervical spinal stenosis?

Cervical spinal stenosis refers to a condition that the spaces within your spine start to narrow and press the nerves in the spine. In most cases, cervical spinal stenosis results from wear-and-tear changes in the spine due to arthritis. People aged more than 50 are more likely to have this disease.

What are the symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis?

The common symptoms may involve:

  • Neck pain.
  • Difficulty walking.
  • Trouble with keeping balance.
  • Tingling, numbness or weakness in the hands, arms, feet or legs.
  • Urinary urgency and incontinence (in severe cases).

What is the treatment of cervical spinal stenosis?

The common treatments include medication, physical therapy, steroid injections and surgery.

Medication

  • Pain medications, such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve, others).
  • Anti-seizure drugs, such as gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica).
  • Opioids, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Roxicodone) and hydrocodone (Norco, Vicodin).

Physical therapy

Exercises that help improve your strength, flexibility, stability and balance.

Steroid injections

Inject a steroid, such as prednisone, into your neck to fight inflammations and ease pain.

Surgery

In severe cases, in order to reduce the pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots, patients may need a surgery to crease more spaces within the spinal canal. The surgeries may include:

  • Laminectomy, to remove the lamina of the affected vertebra.
  • Laminotomy, to remove a portion of the lamina.
  • Laminoplasty, to create a hinge on the lamina.
  • Minimally invasive surgery, to removes bone or lamina and cause little damage to nearby healthy tissues.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.