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MRI of severe spinal cord compressionCervical spinal stenosis specifically refers to compression of the nerves or spinal cord by degenerative arthritic tissues. (i.e. ligaments and bone spurs) These types of changes take many years to develop and in general happen to everyone as we age, and with certain factors such as genetics or lifestyle (heavy lifting, smoking), traumatic injuries can accelerate these processes.

MRI of spinal stenosisMany individuals that have such wear and tear in their spine may have no symptoms at all. Other patients may be significantly bothered by these changes. A conservative approach is always the best first step. This would include a judicious use of medications including anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, and possibly pain medication. Physical therapy also plays a part in muscle strengthening and flexibility. In cases of spinal stenosis steroid injections may be very helpful in reducing nerve inflammation.

Treatment options for Stenosis include:

  1. Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
  2. Laminectomy
not intended as a substitute for medical advise.  Always consult your physician about your medical condidion.
Last modified: March 7th, 2011