Cervical Stenosis is clinically known as a narrowing of the spinal canal; that is, the cylindrical cavity that runs along each vertebrate and allows the spinal cord itself to remain protected from damage or injury. However, this abnormal narrowing (stenosis) can cause various physical and neurological symptoms as it impinges on the spinal cord. Some of these can be considered acute while others can be termed as latent (less noticeable and becoming worse over time). So, let us take a brief look at some of the most common acute symptoms that the majority of sufferers will experience.
As Cervical Spinal Stenosis will directly affect the spinal column and the vertebrate of the back, it should come as no surprise that the majority of patients will experience a moderate to severe discomfort when standing or walking. While some describe this pain as acute, a considerable portion will classify the pain as “dull” and “nonspecific”. Other symptoms that will present themselves in the majority of the cases and are considered acute are:
- A perceived weakness in the extremities (arms and legs).
- A numbness in certain parts of the body that is not related to injury or other trauma.
- Bilateral numbness (that is, a numbness that is equally present on both sides of the body)
- A sense of mild pain below the knee for no known reason.
The reason that these symptom are termed “acute” is due to the fact that they may arise quickly and cause a substantial amount of pain or discomfort.
The second category of symptoms is those that are more difficult to attribute to Cervical Stenosis itself and yet will often times present themselves alongside the predominant signs that we have just listed. By far, the most common latent symptom is a numbness or tingling of the lower limbs (this can frequently be confused with other diseases including fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis). In addition, other signs that Spinal Stenosis may be present will include:
- A strange pain in the legs that is intermittent and only relieved when bending over.
- A nonspecific stiffness in the lower legs (a feeling of a pulled muscle that will not go away).
- The feeling of a constantly “cramped” muscle in the buttocks.
- Little to no pain when seated in a comfortable position.
So, it is clear to see that one of the first issues when diagnosing Cervical Stenosis is the fact that many of these symptoms can be considered rather nonspecific and can mirror other conditions. However, one telltale sign that these are warning signs to such a condition is if they persist for an extended period of time or become progressively worse.
It is for this primary reason that if you experience these symptoms or a combination (which will often times happen), it is essential to see a doctor at your earliest possible convenience. This is particularly the case if you are already arthritic or are older than sixty years of age.