Chronic pain is one of the most common medical conditions out there and it can be related to a lot of diseases, syndromes and disorders a patient may develop.
In most of the cases, the nature of the pain can be fairly easily discovered and that means that the treatment prescribed by the physician will be more in concordance with the true affection the patient suffers from.
In other cases, it may be that the true cause behind a certain type of pain (and even behind the medical condition that led to it) cannot be found out (or at least not entirely). Cervical Stenosis is a medical condition characterized by the fact that the neck portion of the patient’s spinal cord narrows down, thus putting pressure on the nerves.
In most of the cervical stenosis cases out there, the cause that led to the development of this medical condition. They can be related to a congenital condition, to degeneration (especially over the course of the years), to spinal instability, to disc herniation or to the constriction of the blood supply to the spinal cord.
Cervical Stenosis – Symptoms and Its Relation with the Deltoid Muscle
Before you start understanding more about the symptoms that may show the fact that you (or someone close to you) have developed cervical stenosis and before trying to understand the relation this affection has with the deltoid muscle, you will first have to understand a bit about the anatomy of the human spinal cord.
Basically, the spinal cord of a human being is the central “pillar” on which the entire body leans. Problems with the central nervous system (the nerves that pass through the spinal cord) can affect every single part of the human body, from the limbs to the areas that are closer to the spine.
The deltoid muscle is the muscle that covers the blade of the shoulder. Thus, its well-being is closely related to the way the spinal cord “functions”. Since cervical stenosis of the spine is connected to the position of the vertebrae and to how the nerves passing through them function, the deltoid muscle can be harshly affected by this medical condition.
As a matter of fact, pain and other issues related to the deltoid muscle are the most poignant symptoms of cervical stenosis. Shoulder weakness is common with many patients suffering from this medical condition and, as a result of not getting nerve input into them, the shoulders can develop signs of atrophy.
In addition to deltoid muscle pain, cervical stenosis causes other symptoms to appear as well. The first symptom is usually not as noticeable as it should be and it is related to the way the patient walks. The pressure put on the spinal cord affects the lower limbs and it causes the patient to walk jerkily (a symptom called “spasticity”).
Furthermore, hand-related problems can appear as well. Usually, one of the most common symptoms patients accuse is that of numbness in the hand. Also, they may show signs of awkwardness when typing or writing and the affection can go as far as disabling the patient from properly grasping objects.
Pain in the upper back and issues with the bowels and with the bladder are also quite frequently encountered in patients suffering from this disease as well and they are caused by the same pressure put on the entire spinal cord.
Cervical stenosis symptoms are usually slow to show and this is related to the fact that in most of the cases the disease is connected to growing in age and to degeneration. However, if the cervical stenosis was caused by trauma or by a herniated disc, the symptoms will appear suddenly.
Can Cervical Stenosis be treated?
Cervical stenosis usually leads to myelopathy, which is the worse degree at which this medical affection can get. Treatment is available both through surgical and through non-surgical methods, but the type of treatment the patient will receive depends a lot on the level at which the medical condition has already affected his/her health.
Non-surgical treatment includes immobilizing the neck (often with a soft neck collar), physical therapy, traction, electrical stimulation and the epidural spinal injection (which can make more room for the nerves in the spinal cord).
Surgical treatment is mainly consisted out of three procedures: laminectomy, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion and corpectomy and strut graft. Surgical treatment is applied in the case of those patients whose state has decreased considerably, whose state is decreasing rapidly or in the case of those patients who have already tried non-surgical methods for up to six months.