Cervical stenosis symptoms aids in its diagnoses if you discovered them earlier however you must take these symptoms seriously. If you keep ignoring these symptoms it can possibly lead to the serious danger.
In life, everything is a vicious cycle. People go from been weak to strong and then weak again. A typical example of this is the situation with our ability to use our limbs and backbones as humans. We go from been a baby who can’t do anything apart from lying down, to a person who is able to walk.
After enjoying the freedom for years, we eventually go back to square one. As we age, our body begins to weaken, till we eventually become a baby again.
The example above is not aimed at explaining the aging process, but to introduce one of the effects of aging. The effect we will be looking at in this article is cervical stenosis.
However, it is important to note that cervical stenosis signs can also occur from birth, but usually not common. It is also important to get educated about cervical stenosis symptoms, so as to be able to identify it. This will be treated as we go on in this article.
What is Cervical Stenosis and what are cervical stenosis symptoms?
Cervical Stenosis is a form of spinal stenosis and sometimes referred to as cervical spinal stenosis. It is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the upper part of the spine. The spinal canal is the hole that passes through the vertebrae and houses the spinal cord.
This narrowing of the spinal canal exerts pressure on the spinal cord. The pressure might be a painful one, and will really affect the body due to the importance of the spinal cord.
The spinal cord consists of a group of nerves, running from the neck to the lower part of the back, and passing through the spinal canal. These nerves give us the ability to move, feel and control some body parts. Hypothyroid symptoms also lead to the cervical stenosis symptoms.
In cervical stenosis, the pressure exerted on the spinal cord might squeeze and damage the nerve roots or even the spinal cord. The damaging of the spinal cord leads to pain, weakness of the neck and limbs, stiffness and may also affect bladder and bowel control.
Although some patients do suffer from this narrowing from birth, a larger percentage of them suffer from it as a result of old age. Patients who suffer from cervical stenosis signs are mostly above the age of 50.
It is due to wear and tear of the spine due to aging. A lot of cervical stenosis patients have had a neck injury before. But, this injury may have occurred few years before getting cervical stenosis signs.
Cervical Stenosis Symptoms
Like every other disease, cervical stenosis has symptoms that aid its diagnosis. There are various cervical stenosis symptoms, but we will be looking at some of it below.
- The hands of the patient are always clumsy.
- There is usually a pain in the neck just like in the lyme disease. However, it is not always severe.
- The patient feels pain and numbness in the limbs and shoulders.
- Inability to balance well.
- Bowel and bladder problem occur in severe cases.
Treatment of Cervical Stenosis Signs
After noticing the cervical stenosis symptoms and diagnosis, it is important to get it treated before it worsens. However, before a patient can receive good treatment, there has to be an accurate diagnosis.
Therefore, we will first be looking at how to make an accurate diagnosis of cervical stenosis symptoms.
- Before any examination is done on your body, the neurosurgeon will first discuss your cervical stenosis symptoms with you, its severance and the history of pain killers used.
- After the discussion, the neurosurgeon will make physical examinations on you. Your body will be examined for movement limitations, pain and balance. Also looking out for signs of spinal cord damage.
- If cervical stenosis symptoms were verified after the examination, the doctor goes ahead to recommend some tests to be done on your back and neck. This is done to further make a confirmation of the diagnosis and to detect the cause of the narrow nature of the spinal canal. They usually start with plain x-rays to check for tumors and other infections. They also use CT scans, MRIs and sometimes myelogram. In very rare cases, too much infections lead to the Aids.
After making a proper diagnosis, they go ahead to administer treatments to the patient. This treatment is of two types, depending on how severe the cervical stenosis is. These treatments are surgical and nonsurgical treatment.
This treatment is usually administered to most patients by giving them anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers. Few of them may be required to restrict their activities and wear a neck brace for a particular period of time.
However, most of them only need little rest. Doctors also recommend physical therapy exercises to patients. This will not only strengthen and maintain neck balance but also build its flexibility and endurance.
This is only used after nonsurgical treatment is not futile. However, they are a lot of surgeries that can be done on patients. The aim of all of them is to widen the spinal canal and reduce the pressure on the spinal cord.
This is done by removing what is causing the pressure. Since there are risks attached to all surgical treatments, your doctor explains all the available treatments and risks attached to you. This is done for you to decide on which method to use before the surgery is done.
Below are some of the surgical treatments of cervical stenosis signs.
- Decompressive laminectomy: They remove the roof of the vertebrae, so as to create more space for the nerves in the spinal canal.
- Posterior laminopasty: this method retains spinal balance and expands the spinal canal.
- Disectomy: bulging discs is removed in other to increase the space in the spinal canal.
- Foraminotomy: enlargement of foramen.
However, there exist patients who require more than one method of surgical treatment. In this case, about 2 surgical methods may be used to treat the cervical stenosis.
Though when you reach at the age of 50, the risks of cervical stenosis signs are increased but still, there are some prevention tips that can lower the chances of this health issue. These prevention tips are:
- Maintain a good posture.
- Do regular exercises.
- Avoid smoking.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
So you understand the cervical stenosis symptoms? Also, remember that most of the cervical stenosis cases can be generally managed by the non-surgical treatments, for example, spinal injection, pain medicine, the exercises that keep up flexibility and strength.
However, in the serious cases, with the progressive muscle weakness because of the pressure of nerves or spinal cord, it is recommended to use decompression treatment.
This treatment relieves symptoms by decompressing pressure on the spinal cord and the nerve roots. Though this problem occurs with age but to prevent the serious conditions, it is recommended to maintain a good posture, do exercise, avoid smoking and maintain a healthy weight. In this way, maintaining good posture will also help you to prevent symptoms of enlarged heart.
Do you want to know what are most common health diseases and what are treatments to these diseases? If yes you can read more here.
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