Re: what does narrowing and encroachment of the cervical spine mean?
Well the narrowing might refer to spinal stenosis.
that is the tube that runs thru the spine and hold nerve bundles. When it gets too narrow the nerve are sort of squished together and causes a lot of pain. In my case I had stenosis and 3 herniated discs and sitting up was painful for me because pain would shoot down my arm and my neck felt like it was not going to support my head, Oh and it was so bad that I had NO spinal fluid in my neck.
We tried PT bedrest meds and nothing helped so I had anterior fusion at c 3,4-4,5 with the understanding that someday we'd have to get the third disc fixed. I have had both cervical and lumbar fusions and while the cervical one seemed scary it was a piece of cake. The lumbar thing is a whole different story. Anyway I hoped this info helped. You may find more help over at the spinal board. They seem to talk about cervical and thoracic issues there more than here.
best of Luck Dee
Cervical fusion C-3,4 June 2004
Lumbar fusion L3,4-5 November 27 2006