My 72-year-old mother was just diagnosed with spinal stenosis of her neck. Is this a common condition in women?

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. When it occurs in the neck, it can begin to put pressure on the spinal cord. In the United States, there is no difference in the number of men and women affected by this condition. Older adults are more likely to develop stenosis because of changes in the spine from the aging process.

In Japan, more men have stenosis in their necks than women. The combination of narrow spinal canals and large spine bones in the necks of Japanese men makes them more likely than women to have this problem.