Spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the space around the nerve that exits from the spinal cord. This decrease in space causes compression to the nerve. The stenosis can occur at the spinal nerve level or at the spinal cord level.
What are the signs and symptoms associated with Spinal Stenosis?
This pressure on the nerve can cause pain, weakness and incoordination, muscle changes, and sensory changes (such as numbness and tingling). The numbness can occur in the back, neck, shoulders, or arms. It is worthy to note that with spinal stenosis in the neck, pain is not always present.
Arthritis of the cervical spine refers to changes in the bone and this can lead to spinal stenosis. Arthritic changes can be seen with the addition of bone spurs (outgrowths from the bones), decrease in disc space, deformation of the bone (jagged edges), calcification of spinal ligaments, and thickening of the joint tissue because of inflammation. All these arthritic changes can lead to spinal stenosis.
Additional Reading Resources