Spinal stenosis in the neck is a narrowing of the cervical spinal canal caused by an obstruction, such as a bulging disc or a bone spur in the upper part of the spine. The resulting nerve constriction can affect the entire body.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis in the neck, also known as cervical spinal stenosis, can include neck pain as well as weakness, numbness, or tingling in the shoulders, arms or hands. Pain or discomfort also might radiate toward the legs and cause a loss of balance.
Because the symptoms of spinal stenosis can resemble other neck pain causes, it’s important to consult with your doctor to determine the exact nature and origin of your neck pain. Although many forms of neck pain may eventually fade and disappear without medical treatment, you should never ignore the symptoms, especially if they last for more than a few days. When you see your doctor, he or she will ask questions about the duration and severity of your pain, and your examination might include an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.
Should you be diagnosed with spinal stenosis in the neck, there are a variety of non-surgical treatments available, including:
- Exercise or physical therapy to strengthen the neck muscles
- Spinal stenosis epidural injections
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication
- Hot or cold pads
- Therapeutic massage
- Chiropractic treatment or acupuncture
Sometimes, conservative treatment is not enough to alleviate chronic, debilitating neck pain, and surgery must be considered. Fortunately, the award-winning doctors at Laser Spine Institute (LSI) are able to provide a variety of minimally invasive, outpatient procedures to help you rediscover a life without the pain of spinal stenosis in the neck. Contact LSI for more information, and for a free review of your MRI or CT scan.