Cervical means the neck, and stenosis meaning narrowing of the pathways that nerves take through the spinal canals.
When the stenosis affects individual nerve roots, a condition called cervical radiculopathy occurs. Cervical radiculopathy manifests itself with sharp, stabbing, throbbing, achy, dull, electrical or burning pain down the arms. The pain can run all the way down to the fingers or can skip spots along the arm. The same is true for numbness and tingling when they occur. Severe cases will have muscle weakness in one or more of the following: shoulders, arms, wrists, hand and fingers.
When the stenosis compresses the spinal cord itself (which is a large collection of nerves), then the symptoms are quite different. Patients find difficulty using their hands and walking. Patients typically have problems with manual dexterity, fastening buttons and performing delicate tasks with their hands. Sometimes, both hands will go numb and they will drop objects. Inability to open jars is common. Patients also have balance issues and they walk and stand with wide-based stances and gait patterns, occasionally falling.
Pinched nerves and spinal cords are serious matters! Please call the office for a complete evaluation.