Myelopathy refers to compression of the spinal cord causing neurological deficit. Inflammation of the spinal cord is called Myelitis.
What is the Cause?
A Myelopathy is compression of the spinal cord caused by Spinal Stenosis. Specific causes of Spinal Stenosis include:
- Lumbar disc herniation
- Facet Joint Arthritis (also known as Spondylosis)
- As we age and our discs lose fluid and height. There is an increased pressure placed through our facet joints which connect one vertebra to another – facets can become thickened and extra bone can grow into the spinal canal
- Ligamentum Flavum thickening: With age and stress the ligament can thicken which narrows the spinal canal
Signs & Symptoms
Signs and symptoms vary depending on which part of the spinal cord is affected and the extent of the compression. Some general signs and symptoms are:
- Pain in upper or lower limbs
- Pins and needles
- Jerky movements
- Lack of coordination
- Bowel or bladder abnormalities
- Sexual dysfunction
What Can We Do About It?
The therapist’s at Elite Spinal Physiotherapy will identify the cause of your Myelopathy and help in reducing symptoms (pain, pins and needles, numbness, weakness). They will also be able to refer you to the appropriate specialist if required.
A spinal decompression and core strengthening exercise program will be developed to help prevent any re-occurrence of symptoms and appropriate manual therapy will be used.
In most cases the Myelopathy cannot be reversed however the progression of the compression or irritation of the spinal cord can be greatly reduced.