What Is Lumbar and Cervical Stenosis?
The term “stenosis” originates from the Greek word that means “choking.” Lumbar and cervical stenosis explains the narrowing of the bone channel responsible for housing the spinal nerves and spinal cord.
Lumbar spinal stenosis explains a condition when the spinal nerves in the lower back are being choked or compressed. This leads to the patient experiencing varying degrees of pain when walking. Similarly, cervical spinal stenosis explains the narrowing and compression of the spinal canal in the patient’s neck.
In both cases, the compression of the nerve leads to stiffness, weakness, numbness, and pain. These symptoms are often onset from activity. Cervical spinal stenosis can also affect the patient’s ability to control their bladder and bowels.
Treatments for Cervical and Lumbar Stenosis
Patients who suffer from mild stenosis can typically control their symptoms with physical therapy, medicine to relieve pain, and exercise to improve flexibility and strength. Those suffering with more intense symptoms may need decompressive surgery to relieve the pressure on the spinal nerves and cord. This surgery is typically involves removing some of the tissue, bone and/or disc pressing on the nerve roots. In many instances, vertebrae are fused together to improve spinal stability.