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What treatment options are available for cervical stenosis?

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Quick Answer

Pain relief medicine, exercise and physical therapy are treatment options to control symptoms of mild spinal stenosis, states WebMD. Individuals with severe symptoms, progressive muscle weakness, and squeezing or tightening of the nerves or spinal cord often have decompressive surgery to relieve the pressure.

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Full Answer

Decompressive surgery is performed either from the front or the back of the neck, according to WebMD. Some of the disc, bone and tissue that may be pressing on the nerve roots are removed. Vertebrae are often surgically fused to provide stability to the spine. Because cervical spinal stenosis can cause serious nervous system problems, such as incontinence, loss of bowel control, and permanent loss of strength and feeling in the hands, arms and legs, early treatment to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord and nerves is usually recommended.

Cervical spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, or vertebrae, in the neck, explains WebMD. The collection of nerves known as the spinal cord runs through the spinal canal from the base of the brain to the lower back. These nerves control the bowel and bladder functions and allow individuals to feel and to move. When the spinal canal narrows, it compresses and squeezes the nerve roots and sometimes the spinal cord itself. This changes how the spinal cord functions.

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