Spinal Stenosis Treatments
Cervical stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows and compresses the spinal cord. This narrowing can be a result of a number of factors, but most frequently it happens as a by-product of aging. The disks in the spine that separate and cushion our vertebrae may dry out. As a result, the space between the vertebrae shrinks and the disks lose their ability to act as shock absorbers. At the same time, the bones and ligaments that make up the spine become less pliable and thicken. These changes result in a narrowing of the spinal canal. In addition, the degenerative changes in the vertebrae associated with cervical stenosis can lead to the growth of bone spurs that compress the nerve roots. Symptoms include neck pain, numbness and weakness in both hands, unsteady gait when walking, and muscle spasms in the legs. Mild stenosis can be treated conservatively for extended periods of time as long as the symptoms are restricted to neck pain. Severe stenosis requires referral to a neurosurgeon.