How Spinal Stenosis Can Affect Your Neck

Every year, approximately 500,000 Americans suffer from symptoms of spinal stenosis. And while it’s typically a condition that affects your back, you can also experience pain and other symptoms of spinal stenosis in your neck as well. 

The first step in getting the treatment you need is understanding the condition itself. Our board-certified anesthesiologist and interventional pain medicine specialist at CurePain, Dr. David Wu, is here to give you the best information about spinal stenosis and its impact on your whole body, especially your neck

The basics of spinal stenosis

Stenosis refers to an abnormal narrowing of a passage in your body. This often occurs in your spine, where the already narrow spaces in your spinal canal become even more restricted and put pressure on your nerves. 

There are two main types of spinal stenosis that refer to where the stenosis is located: lumbar and cervical.  

In lumbar stenosis, the narrowing occurs in your lower back. This is the most common type of spinal stenosis.

Cervical stenosis occurs in the cervical vertebrae, which is the section of your spine that makes up your neck. Though it’s less common than lumbar stenosis, it can cause you significant pain and other debilitating symptoms. 

Here’s everything you need to know about cervical stenosis. 

Causes of cervical stenosis

Some are born with a small spinal canal, increasing their chances of developing cervical stenosis. But most often, it stems from an injury or other musculoskeletal changes. Some of the most common causes of cervical stenosis include:

Anyone can suffer from this condition, but your risk increases if you are over 50 or have degenerative changes/congenital spinal deformities, like scoliosis, or genetic bone diseases. 

Symptoms of cervical stenosis

Many people who have cervical stenosis may only experience mild symptoms or sometimes no symptoms at all. On the other hand, symptoms can be severe and get worse over time. 

Most experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in their hands, arms, feet, and legs. Other common symptoms include:

In the most severe cases of spinal stenosis, you might struggle with bowel or bladder dysfunction. 

Diagnosing and treating cervical stenosis

Whether or not your spinal stenosis causes symptoms, you should never let a problem in your spine go untreated. 

Fortunately, Dr. Wu is an expert in accurately diagnosing and treating a wide variety of spine conditions, including cervical stenosis. 

To pinpoint exactly where your cervical stenosis is and what’s causing it, Dr. Wu conducts a series of imaging tests like MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays. He also guides you through some basic physical exams and discusses your medical history and symptoms with you. 

Once he’s reached a diagnosis, he begins creating your treatment plan. Depending on your needs, he recommends the following treatments:

Don’t spend another day hoping your neck pain will go away on its own. Contact our Torrance, California office to start living life without neck pain.

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