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Cervical stenosis is a degenerative condition in which the spinal canal is too small for the spinal cord and nerve roots. This can cause damage to the spinal cord or pinch nerves as they exit the spinal canal.
Symptoms may include:
- Neck pain
- Pain or numbness in one or both arms
- Electrical sensation that shoots down the back when the head moves
- Heavy feeling in the legs
- Inability to walk at a brisk pace
- Deterioration in fine motor skills
Thoracic Spinal Stenosis
Thoracic spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal cord or spinal nerves are compressed by narrowing of the spinal canal or the openings between vertebrae.
Most thoracic stenosis is due to degenerative changes common to aging, like arthritis, bone spurs, and disc degeneration. As the degeneration progresses, pain develops in the back and legs, either a leg ached when walking that improves with rest, or pain that radiates down the back and legs. Problems with walking or loss of bowel or bladder function may also occur.
Patients may see improvement with conservative treatment, including anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. Steroid injections or nerve blocks may help manage the pain.
If the pain is uncontrolled or if there are signs of cord compression, surgery is usually necessary to relieve pressure on the cord or spinal nerves.
Most often occurring in the neck and lower back, spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spine’s open spaces, which can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine. The disease typically affects people over the age of 50.
While some people have no symptoms, spinal stenosis can cause leg, buttock, groin, and back pain; numbness; muscle weakness; and problems with bowel or bladder function.