Cervical spinal stenosis — causes for the narrowing of the cervical spine
Spinal stenosis is caused with the spinal canal narrows and compresses the nerve roots in the spinal cord. Cervical spinal stenosis is the form of spinal stenosis found in the neck, or cervical, portion of the spine.
Patients who suffer from cervical spinal stenosis often experience local pain in the vertebrae of the neck, as well as radiating pain down the arm and into the finger or up the neck and into the head. These symptoms can be debilitating, and if left untreated, could begin to prevent you from doing the things you love.
At Laser Spine Institute, we are confident we can help you find a solution for your chronic neck pain. We understand the frustration that you endure with chronic pain and unclear treatment options. We are here to tell you that there is a way to treat the pain and we are going to walk you through the process every step of the way. If you have any questions along the way, please do not hesitate to call our care team. We are ready to help you reclaim your life from your chronic pain.
Causes of cervical spinal stenosis
Cervical spinal stenosis can be caused by a variety of things, including other spine conditions. Certain spine conditions like herniated discs or bulging discs can cause a narrowing of the spinal canal because of a disc protrusion. Other spine conditions like bone spurs can narrow the spinal canal by causing an extra growth on the spine that decreases the room between the spine and the spinal canal.
Another main cause of cervical spinal stenosis is the natural aging process. People over 50 years old may start to experience a thickening of the tissue between the vertebrae (the ligaments) that might cause the space between the spinal canal and the spine to decrease. Additionally, the aging process might contribute to the natural deterioration of discs in between vertebrae. As the discs diminish, the bones of the vertebrae impact each other and may develop bone spurs, or growths, that restrict the space between the spine and the spinal canal.
In order to accurately determine the cause of your cervical spinal stenosis, schedule an MRI review with your physician. Once you determine the cause, you can work together to find a treatment solution that will help alleviate your chronic pain.
Treatment options for spinal stenosis
There are two treatment options available to help treat your cervical spinal stenosis: conservative treatment and surgical treatment. Before you consider surgical treatment, you should exhaust all conservative treatment options. Some people with cervical spinal stenosis find relief through conservative treatments and never have to undergo surgery.
Your physician might recommend a routine including some of the following conservative treatments:
- The application of heating pads or ice packs
- Exercise or physical therapy to strengthen the neck muscles
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication
- Therapeutic massage
- Epidural injections
- Chiropractic treatment or acupuncture
Tell your physician if you experience continued pain or discomfort during your conservative treatments. If you do not find any lasting relief from conservative treatments, you might consider a surgical treatment for your cervical spinal stenosis.
At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a minimally invasive stabilization surgery as an effective alternative to open back fusion for cervical spinal stenosis. Our surgery is minimally invasive and is performed through a small 1-inch incision. The surgeon will decompress the affected nerve in your spinal cord that is causing your pain, and then insert an implant to stabilize your spine and help prevent future narrowing of your spinal canal. The exact procedure will depend on the cause of your cervical spinal stenosis.
For more information about Laser Spine Institute’s surgical treatment options for cervical spinal stenosis, please contact us. Our team can review* your MRI at no cost and determine your candidacy for one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.