Cervical Stenosis Physical Therapy Treatment


Visitors: 168

The vertebrae are a series of bones connected to each other forming the neck, also known as the cervical spine. The spinal canal, which encloses the spinal cord, runs through the vertebrae. The spinal cord contains major nerves that allow arm and leg movements, sensation, including bladder control and bowel movements.

Cervical stenosis is the condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal. It occurs with age as the intervertebral discs starts to lack water content and hardens. The discs can shrink in height and stick out into the spinal canal. Spinal joints also bulge and protrude into the spinal canal. When the spinal canal narrows, the resulting pressure on the spinal cord leads to another condition called cervical myelopathy, which affects nerve functions.

Cervical stenosis usually does not have symptoms. If it has advanced to cervical myelopathy, the patient may experience neck and arm pain, weakness, and difficulty in moving the arms and legs. Incontinence also occurs in later stages of the disease. Symptoms may appear gradually or develop rapidly.

Early detection plays a crucial role in the prevention and treatment of cervical stenosis and cervical myelopathy. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and diagnostic tests and recommend an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging ) and CT (Computed Tomography) scan to be able to see the level of narrowing of the spinal canal. You may have to undergo other tests for a complete diagnosis.

What are the treatments for Cervical Stenosis?

Depending on the stage of cervical stenosis, treatments may be operative or non-operative. Usually, patients who have severe fragility and pain in the affected areas and difficulty in walking require surgery. Non-operative or conservative treatment, which includes cervical stenosis physical therapy, is ideal for mild cases.

Patients should understand that cervical stenosis physical therapy would not reduce the narrowing of the spinal canal or bring it back to normal size. The goal of cervical stenosis physical therapy is long-term pain management and increased function that will enable the patient to control pain effectively and function normally without having to undergo surgery.

Cervical stenosis physical therapy starts with improving flexibility in the neck, arms and legs through stretching exercises. It is also important to increase circulation and develop endurance in the arms and legs with cardiovascular exercises such as swimming and treadmill exercises. Your therapist may also add strengthening exercises in your program. While most of these exercises are always under professional supervision, your therapist will also provide you with exercises that you can perform independently.

Supervised cervical stenosis physical therapy may take three or more months. If your condition does not improve after cervical stenosis physical therapy, your physician will then recommend surgery.

Milos Pesic is a successful webmaster and owner of popular and comprehensive Physical Therapy information site. For more articles and resources on Physical Therapy related topics, Physical Therapy exercises and much more visit his site at:



Article Source:

Rate this Article: 
What Happens After Cervical Cancer Treatment?
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes

Related Articles:

Get an excellent treatment of Physical Therapy from an expert practitioner

by: Ayan Biswas (September 26, 2012) 
(Health and Fitness/Alternative)

Physical Therapy Information - Do Your Homework for the Best Physical Therapy ..

by: John Groth (December 31, 2007) 
(Health and Fitness/Physical Therapy)

Spinal Stenosis – Reasons and Treatment Options

by: Bruce Markey (June 15, 2010) 
(Health and Fitness/Medicine)

Why Physical Therapy is for You – Benefits of Physical Therapy

by: Milos Pesic (November 02, 2006) 
(Health and Fitness)

Aortic Valve Stenosis - Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

by: Abdulmubeen Mundewadi (December 24, 2008) 
(Health and Fitness/Heart Disease)

Physical exercises within the cervical spine and pain relieve

by: Matilda Davison (September 06, 2012) 
(Health and Fitness/Exercise)

Scholarly Therapy – Physical Therapy Scholarships

by: Milos Pesic (November 02, 2006) 
(Health and Fitness)

Talk Therapy Physical Therapy For the Brain

by: Cory Johnson (June 18, 2008) 
(Health and Fitness/Depression)

What is Physical Therapy and What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

by: Carol Lane (September 15, 2010) 
(Health and Fitness)

What Happens After Cervical Cancer Treatment?

by: Laura Guthrie (August 24, 2008) 
(Cancer/Ovarian Cervical Uterine Cancer)