Spinal Stenosis and Hand Pain – Minimally Invasive Treatment Options from Laser Spine Institute
Spinal stenosis and hand pain can go hand-in-hand, particularly when the narrowing (stenosis) in the spinal opening occurs in the cervical (neck) region of the spine. When this happens and a nerve root in the upper spine is compressed, pain and other symptoms tend to be felt in the shoulders, arms and hands.
What causes the spine to narrow?
As part of the natural aging process, the anatomical components of the spine — including the vertebrae, intervertebral discs, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments — endure ongoing wear and tear. Within the spinal column, there are fixed openings between the vertebrae (called “intervertebral foramina”) that house delicate nerve roots and the space allotted for those nerves can be easily constricted by worn-down bone or inflamed tissue. Common underlying conditions that can lead to spinal narrowing include degenerative disc disease, spinal arthritis, bone spurs and spondylolisthesis, among others.
If spinal stenosis is present but does not encroach upon the spinal cord or an exiting nerve root, the condition can be asymptomatic or cause only minor symptoms that can be adequately addressed through conservative home care, such as over-the-counter pain relievers and stretching. On the other hand, when a nerve root or the spinal cord itself is compressed, both cervical and lumbar spinal stenosis can lead to the following uncomfortable symptoms:
- Pain or numbness in the affected area of the spine
- Pain that radiates to the shoulders, arms and hands
- Pain that travels through the hips, legs and feet
- Leg cramps
- Balancing and walking difficulties
- Muscle weakness
- Headaches and dizziness
What to do if you think you might have spinal stenosis
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult with a qualified physician who can evaluate your condition, make an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment. In many cases, conservative approaches are very effective, but if your physician suggests elective surgery to address excruciating or non-responsive pain, you might want to consider the minimally invasive procedures offered by Laser Spine Institute as alternatives to open neck or back surgery.
If you have questions about treatments for spinal stenosis that causes hand pain or would like to learn if you are a candidate our minimally invasive outpatient procedures, please contact Laser Spine Institute today.