Stenosis of the cervical spine refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck that protects the spinal cord and its nerves.

The condition often causes neck pain that radiates to the arms and hands and numbness or weakness in the legs. Cervical stenosis typically develops after the age of 50, as a consequence of aging and spinal wear and tear caused by arthritis.

It may also be the result of back injury or trauma, or disorders that cause nerve compression, such as bone spurs (osteophytes), bulging or herniated discs, and degenerative disc disease.

Some individuals with cervical stenosis experience no symptoms; however, symptoms may gradually develop and worsen over time, including:

  • Upper extremity pain and weakness
  • Numbness, tingling, pins-and-needles sensation
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Bladder and bowel problems

The cervical spine specialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group will diagnose your condition based on your medical history, physical and neurological examination, and diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, CT or MRI scans.

Conservative treatments for cervical spine stenosis include pain medications, physical therapy, steroid injections, or acupuncture. If pain is not responding to conservative treatment, surgery may be required to treat the condition.