Cervical Spinal Stenosis

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a common problem that causes back pain due to narrowing of the space that spinal cord travels through the spine. The pain associated with spinal stenosis often gets worse over time when left untreated. This condition commonly affects older adults. People that have had a history of neck or back pain can develop spinal stenosis. Some people with spinal stenosis do not immediately develop symptoms initially, but discomfort may develop over time due to the degree of stenosis.

 

Symptoms of spinal stenosis

  1. Pain, numbness, and tingling
  2. Neck stiffness
  3. Weakness of the arm(s), hand(s), and fingers

 

What causes spinal stenosis?

Most cases of spinal stenosis are the result of degeneration of the spine. Some degree of degeneration to the anatomical structure of the spine is normal due to aging. The results of degeneration are often more pronounced to people age 50 in over, but due to the advent of computers and cell phones spinal degeneration is now common in individuals as young as 20 years old. These structural changes can later spinal function. Factors other than age that could cause degeneration are trauma, injury, poor posture, and smoking

 

One common change that occurs with degeneration is change to the intervertebral discs of the spine. Healthy discs are well hydrated. Over time, spinal discs may lose their resiliency and normal shape. When this happens their ability to bear weight and forces from normal everyday activities is decreased. This flattening of the disc reduces that space between the vertebrae of the spine. Discs may even change shape in a manner that causes them to invade the space that the nerve normally inhabits. This allows for less space between for the nerves pass through their openings. The end result is nerve compression which lead to pain, numbness and tingling. Other degenerative changes that can affect the nerves are bone spurs, ligament damage, and inflammation.

Image result for cervical stenosis

When nerves are compressed, symptoms can vary from pain, numbness, tingling and radiate down the arms and legs. The term for this sensation is radiculopathy.

 

Treatment

The head weights on average 10-12 pounds. It sits on the spine which relatively slender in comparison. This makes it weakest are of the spine and very vulnerable to injury. Previous injuries such as car accidents, sports injuries, and trauma can lead to imbalance of the spine that causes not only stenosis but other chronic health problems.

 

Most people with spinal stenosis do not need surgery. Chiropractic is a solution for most people that can help reduce and manage the symptoms. Through adjustments, physiotherapy, and exercises, relief can be achieved.

 

In order to treat the spinal misalignment, Cone Beam Computerized Tomorgraphy (CBCT) imaging used required to determine if you have a misalignment of the neck. The imagine creates a 3-dimensional image of the cervical spine. This allows us to see the direction of misalignment and tailor a precise spinal correction that involves no cracking or popping of the spine. Once spinal balance is achieved, no further cervical adjustment is necessary. Patients are monitored over time to ensure their balance is maintained.

 

Contact us

We offer a range of natural, non-invasive treatment options. If you or anyone suffers from spinal stenosis and would like help, please call our office at (626) 403-3000 to schedule a consultation. Contact us if you would like to find out more.

 

 

 

 

Author
David Chen, DC Dr. David Chen has been practicing Blair Chiropractic since 2014. Based in Los Angeles, he specializes in upper cervical chiropractic. This type of correct is gentle without the normal popping and cracking associated with chiropractic neck adjustments.

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