Cervical stenosis is a big, scary sounding phrase. It's the narrowing of the spinal canal which is where the spinal cord and nerve roots are located. 

Cervical stenosis can cause compression to the spinal cord called cervical myelopathy or as the nerve root exits the foramen of the vertebrae called cervical radiculopathy. 

Cervical stenosis can be caused by a variety of factors, including but not limited to: 
  • Arthritis (which causes extra bone growth)
  • Increased size of the ligamentum flavum (a ligament that runs along the spinal canal) 

Cervical stenosis symptoms

  • Nerve pain in one or both of your arms
  • Pain in your neck
  • Weakness in the arm or hand 
  • Difficulty with fine motor tasks, like buttons 

                                            Pain in the neck due to cervical stenosis

How can physical therapy help my cervical stenosis?

Physical therapy can't widen the spinal canal unfortunately. But there is still plenty we can do to support the other structures in the neck. 

Starting with releasing your muscles and connective tissue to decrease pain and improve the length tension relationship of the muscle. This will help the muscles function more appropriately to also provide stability to the neck and upper extremity. 

Neural flossing is a tool to help move the nerves in the upper arm (and leg for that matter). They can get hung up around bones, muscles and connective tissue, so there are ways we can floss (just like your teeth!) to allow them to move more freely. This takes some of the tension off them and in turn can reduce some of the nerve pain you experience in your arm. We commonly floss the following: median, radial and ulnar nerves of the upper extremity.  Check out our cervicalgia blog for more information on neck pain and strategies to improve it. 


Physical therapy for cervical stenosis

Physical therapy for cervical stenosis in Columbia and Baltimore, Maryland

If you have neck pain reach out to our office today! 

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