Behavior modification can be used to treat cervical stenosis

If you’re one of the millions of people worldwide who have cervical stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the region of your neck, you might be desperate to find relief from symptoms of traveling pain, localized pain, numbness, tingling or weakness. However, what many people don’t realize is that there are a variety of treatment options other than surgery. Through options ranging from exercise to massage, nutritional improvements to knowledge therapy, non-invasive relief is possible.

How biofeedback works

The majority of cervical stenosis cases are caused by degenerative conditions, such as degenerative disc disease or facet disease. Either of these can lead to bone spurs, herniated discs, bulging discs, collapsed discs or other injuries that contribute to neural compression. There is a holistic form of pain management called “behavior modification,” or biofeedback, which strives to change the way one’s brain interprets and responds to pain signals. How does it work? Electrodes and other sensory equipment are used to find patterns in the body’s physical responses to stimuli. Once the relationships between psychological responses (thoughts, emotions and behavior) and physiological responses (brainwaves, muscle movement, skin temperature, pain perception and heart rate) have been established, the patient can, ideally, begin to change his or her outward behavior, thereby changing the ability to manage pain.

For instance, if a patient has cervical stenosis that is causing bouts of muscle spasms or tingling in the neck, a physician 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 will not work for all individuals. If you have tried a variety of non-surgical treatments for your cervical stenosis, lumbar stenosis or thoracic stenosis and have found them to be ineffective, you may be ready for more advanced pain relief measures. If surgery becomes an option, contact Laser Spine Institute to find out if you are a candidate for our state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedures that are performed on an outpatient basis.

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