Cervical Stenosis

It is normal to feel neck pain with age. But if the pain is so severe that it’s debilitating, it’s time to check with a physician. Cervical spinal stenosis is a condition that features neck pain as a primary symptom, but it can cause other symptoms that affect much of your body. Our doctors at Nacogdoches Medical Partners in Nacogdoches, TX can help diagnose, evaluate and treat cervical stenosis.

What Is Cervical Spinal Stenosis?

Cervical stenosis is the abnormal narrowing of the cervical spinal canal, the neck region of the backbone or the spinal column. The constriction of the spinal cord or nerve roots due to this narrowing can impact mobility, tactile sensation and control over bowel or bladder functions. Potential consequences of cervical stenosis include:

  • Myelopathy – injury to the spinal cord.
  • Radiculopathy – the spinal nerves getting pinched and damaged as they exit the spinal canal.
  • Myeloradiculopathy – dysfunction of the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Aging stands as a primary risk factor for spinal stenosis; however, the development of this condition can also be attributed to various other factors, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Bone disease
  • Herniated discs
  • Tumors
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Sudden severe neck injury

What Are the Symptoms of Cervical Spinal Stenosis?

Cervical spinal stenosis symptoms include:

  • Neck pain
  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Arm numbness
  • An electrical sensation shooting down the back when you move your head

Cervical stenosis may cause arm weakness and coordination loss as the condition progresses. It may affect your balance, dexterity, gait and grip strength. In its advanced stages, this condition can cause bowel and bladder function problems, as well as numbness and weakness in the lower limbs. Get checked immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Difficulty in using your arms and hands
  • Difficulty knowing where you are placing your feet when you walk
  • Difficulty in maintaining your balance
  • Trouble texting, typing or fastening jewelry
  • Handwriting changes
  • Leg spasms that make it difficult to walk

Some patients diagnosed with this condition have only mild symptoms that are not too bothersome. Other people with severe symptoms may only need a combination of medication and physical therapy to control their condition. Our doctors will work closely with you to determine to personalize a treatment plan that best suits your needs.

How Is Cervical Stenosis Diagnosed?

Neck pain may indicate a possible cervical spinal stenosis. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a thorough physical exam. To confirm your condition, your doctor may recommend imaging tests such as an X-ray, computer tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and blood tests to rule out other spine-related conditions.

What Is the Best Treatment for Cervical Stenosis?

Mild cases of cervical stenosis may be treated with nonsurgical approaches such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Neck immobilization
  • Bed rest
  • Medications such as pain relievers and muscle relaxants
  • Reduction of strenuous physical activity

When non-surgical treatments do not provide relief, spinal stenosis surgery may be recommended, such as:

  • Discectomy – relieves pressure on the nerves in the neck by removing a damaged spinal disc or the damaged part of a disc.
  • Spinal fusion – connects one or more backbones to immobilize that part of the neck and prevent pain friction in between bones.
  • Posterior cervical laminectomy – decompresses the spinal cord for patients with cervical stenosis with myelopathy.

Find an Orthopedic Doctor

Whether you’re suffering from neck pain, an injury or any other orthopedic condition affecting your spine, Nacogdoches Medical Partners is here to help. We provide spine care services from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation. Early treatment may help relieve your symptoms and prevent your condition from worsening. Call 888-421-9679 or click the button below to schedule an appointment.