Treatment options for spinal stenosis and hand pain
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. Read on to learn about the causes of spinal stenosis and hand pain as well as the next course of action if you believe that you have this debilitating condition.
What causes the spine to narrow?
As part of the natural aging process, the anatomical components of the spine, including the vertebrae, spinal discs, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments endure ongoing strain. Within the spinal column, there are fixed openings between the vertebrae called intervertebral foramina that house delicate nerve roots. 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.
If spinal stenosis is present but does not affect 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 medications 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 doctor who can evaluate your condition, make an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment. In many cases, conservative approaches are very effective, but if your doctor suggests elective surgery to address excruciating or nonresponsive pain, you might want to consider contacting Laser Spine Institute to learn about the minimally invasive procedures we offer, which are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open neck or back surgery.^
Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. If you have questions about treatments for spinal stenosis that causes hand pain or would like to learn if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient procedures, please reach out to our dedicated team today. Our medical professionals will help you determine the cause of your pain and your next step on the road to recovery by asking a series of questions and performing a no-cost MRI review.*