Cervical canal stenosis, or the narrowing of the spinal canal in the upper section of the spine, is a common degenerative spinal condition. As part of the natural aging process, the spinal canal narrows and eventually may compress a spinal nerve or the spinal cord itself. It is nerve compression, not spinal stenosis itself, that causes pain and other symptoms such as numbness, tingling and weakness. This distinction is important. Spinal stenosis, by itself, is asymptomatic. Every aging spinal canal is likely narrower than it was when it was younger. Nerve compression is the key to symptom generation.
Cervical spinal canal stenosis symptoms can usually be treated with conservative, non-surgical methods. Irrespective of whether symptoms include neck pain, headaches, tingling or numbness in the arms or fingers, or any other related symptoms, a physician should first formulate a conservative treatment program. Conservative treatment includes stretching, physical therapy, exercise, hot/cold therapy, pain medications and other modalities. For many patients, these treatments are sufficient to manage their symptoms. Some individuals, however, are unsuccessful with conservative treatment and turn to elective surgery.
Minimally invasive alternatives
If conservative treatment of symptoms has failed and surgical treatment has been recommended, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We perform a variety of minimally invasive outpatient procedures that are an effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. Tens of thousands of patients have trusted our innovative procedures to help them receive surgical treatment for neck and back pain while avoiding most negative aspects of traditional open spinal surgery.