Stenosis is a condition in which narrowing of a structure takes place. In case of spinal stenosis, it refers to the narrowing of bony tube or spinal canal in which the nerve roots and spinal cord travel. The cervical spine is the upper part of spine comprising of seven vertebral bodies that together make up ‘neck’. Each vertebral body is separated by a gel like disc, which acts as a cushion between bones, allowing movement of the spinal cord and neck. Many people suffer from this condition. The main reason for spinal stenosis is degenerative changes. Timely disc disease treatment is important to prevent further deterioration of the condition.

How stenosis of the spine does occur?

Spinal stenosis mostly occurs because of degenerative changes which take place in the spine that is the consequence of wear and tear. It progresses as people age in life. In some cases, a part of the disc might herniate and pressurize nerves. With the progression of degenerative disc disease, there is very possible that the disc might collapse and decline in height leaving very less space for the nerves. Also, there is very possible that the ligaments of the spine might thicken and osteophytes, also known as bone spurs, might appear on the vertebral bodies. Together, these changes lead to narrowing of the spinal column, causing more pressure on the spinal cord.
There are several other lesser known causes of spinal stenosis. In some rare cases, one might be born with spinal abnormalities in the spine creating congenital stenosis. Injury or any kind of trauma to the neck is another reason for spinal stenosis. Other rare causes of the spine are calcified, tumor and infection.

Diagnosis of spinal stenosis

Spine surgeon or orthopedic detect the condition on the basis of a patient’s physical examination and medical history. The surgeon might recommend neck X-rays. X-rays are an important part of diagnosis as they show narrowing of the space or bone spurs between vertebral bodies which occur because of disc collapse. Further, a patient might be asked for specialized imaging, MRI – magnetic resonance imaging. Results of MRI bring forth the condition of the ligaments, nerves, intervertebral discs and spinal cord. The most common technique of diagnosing the nerve compression is MRI. Orthopedic surgeon might further recommend a CT scan and milligrams in some cases for diagnosing the condition.

Symptoms of spinal stenosis

Initially, patients experience no pain and discomfort. It is only when condition deteriorates that they start becoming symptomatic. Numbness, pain and tingling in the hands and arms is often called asradiculopathy. Patients also feel the pangs of neck pain as the spinal joints become stiff and arthritic. Pinched nerves in the upper portion of the neck might cause headaches. As the degeneration progresses, it might lead to compression of the spinal cord which triggers several symptoms such as loss of manual dexterity in the hands, incontinence, weakness and numbness in the legs or arms or lose balance.

If you want Spinal stenosis relief, consult an experienced and an expert orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Erik Bnediks who has been treating patients suffering from neck and back problems for more than a decade.

Author's Bio: 

Disc disease treatment for conditions such as spinal stenosis is important to live smooth and normal life.