Things to Avoid with Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Dec 20, 2021

things-to-avoid-with-cervical-spinal-stenosisNeck pain can really negatively impact your daily routines and quality of life. There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing neck pain, and one of those is cervical spinal stenosis. This lesser-known condition is actually common in adults over 5O because it is associated with general aging. However, spinal stenosis can also occur as a result of an injury. When you meet with a car accident injury chiropractor, you may be diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis symptoms vary depending on the location, and there are certain things to avoid with cervical spinal stenosis.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal column starts to narrow. This tends to occur naturally as we age and may cause symptoms in older-aged adults. The spinal cord fits inside the spinal canal made up of vertebrae and spinal discs. Your spine also houses the central nervous system, connecting your brain to the rest of your body. As the spinal canal narrows, it can disrupt the healthy functioning of the central nervous system and impact the brain’s ability to effectively communicate with the rest of the body. Spinal stenosis can occur in the neck, known as cervical spinal stenosis, or in the lower back, known as lumbar stenosis.

Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

Symptoms of spinal stenosis affecting your neck can include neck pain, stiffness, tingling, and numbness. When nerves are impacted by spinal stenosis, it can cause painful stabbing sensations that may start in the neck and radiate out into the shoulder and arm. Aggravation or damage to nerves due to cervical spinal stenosis can also cause weakness or numbness in your neck, shoulder, or arm. These symptoms are commonly known as radiculopathy. As spinal stenosis puts pressure on the spinal cord, it can also affect other parts of the body.

Spinal Stenosis in the Cervical Spine

An injury to the neck can lead to cervical spinal stenosis. A car accident injury like whiplash can cause inflammation in the spine, or a spinal fracture in the neck can damage the vertebrae. A spinal injury like a herniated disc can also lead to spinal stenosis in the neck. Arthritis is also a common cause of spinal stenosis in the neck and lower back as the cartilage in the spine starts to break down. The muscles and ligaments that support your neck can also become inflamed after a car accident or sports accident. Inflammation in these soft tissues can cause them to tighten or stiffen, even bulging into the space of the spinal canal.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Spinal Stenosis

When you visit a car accident injury chiropractor, they will want to talk with you about your medical history and the current symptoms you are experiencing. They may also want to run diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays or CT scans to get a clearer picture of how your spine has been affected. These imaging tools can also help rule out other potential injuries or sources of your pain. Once your chiropractor has determined a diagnosis of cervical spinal stenosis, they can determine the most appropriate course of action.

Things to Avoid with Cervical Spinal Stenosis

When you are dealing with cervical spinal stenosis, there are certain things you want to avoid. Here are three examples of things to avoid with spinal stenosis in the neck:

Tech Neck Posture

Hunching over a keyboard, phone, or laptop can lead to “tech neck posture.” This type of posture is noticeable for the rounded or hunched shoulders and your neck leaning forward and down. Tech neck posture can put additional pressure on the spine in your neck and cause inflammation, stiffness, and soreness.

Bed Rest

If you are recovering from an injury or health condition, you want to be careful about too much bed rest. Make time to stretch your neck and hold your head up in a proper posture so that your supportive neck muscles and tendons don’t become weakened.

Contact Sports

Avoid contact sports if you are dealing with cervical spinal stenosis. There is a greater risk of injury to your spine when you are engaging in contact sports like football or hockey. However, exercise in moderation is great for healing while you practice good posture.

Visit a chiropractor at AICA Orthopedics in Conyers to learn more about how to improve your quality of life with cervical spinal stenosis.