How biofeedback is used to treat cervical stenosis

Cervical spinal stenosis describes narrowing that occurs in the cervical (upper) region of the spine. The symptoms can be very disruptive to a good quality of life, affecting your relationships, your job and the things you love to do. If you are dealing with this condition and have exhausted conventional conservative treatment options like medication and physical therapy, but are reluctant to undergo surgery, there is still a wide range of alternative treatments available.

Although still not fully accepted by all mainstream medical practitioners, treatments like biofeedback provide relief for some patients; especially when used as part of a larger treatment plan. If you do explore any alternative options, keep your doctor informed to ensure they are compatible with any existing care you receive.

How biofeedback works

Cervical stenosis cases are usually caused by degenerative conditions such as degenerative disc disease or facet disease that can lead to nerve compression and painful symptoms. This is because nerve compression interferes with the transmission of sensory signals between the brain and the body. The goal of biofeedback is to change the way the brain interprets and responds to these pain signals.

During a biofeedback session, electrodes and other sensory equipment are used to find patterns in the body’s physical responses to stimuli. Once the relationships between psychological responses, such as emotions and behavior, and physiological responses, such as muscle movement and pain perception have been established, a patient can potentially begin to manage them better.

For instance, if a person has cervical stenosis that is causing bouts of muscle spasms or tingling in the neck, a doctor may put electrical sensors on the patient’s neck. The sensors, with the help of monitoring equipment, track the body’s responses to the spasms. In time, a patient may be able to use deep breathing, visualization or other techniques to eliminate or reduce the pain.

Additional treatment options

Behavior modification in the form of biofeedback does not work for everyone. If you have tried a variety of nonsurgical treatments for your cervical stenosis and have found them to be ineffective, your doctor may recommend you undergo a surgical procedure. If surgery becomes an option, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open procedures.^ By using muscle-sparing techniques, our surgeons can access the spine with a less than 1-inch incision, offering a streamlined outpatient experience.

We are happy to perform a free review of your MRI* to find out if you are a potential candidate for our state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedures that are performed on an outpatient basis.

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