The softening of the spinal cord, also known as cervical myelopathy, is a progressive neurological disorder caused by compression of the spinal cord in the neck. The condition is often found in individuals over the age of 40 and can result in an array of neurological symptoms, including instability, weakness, numbness and a loss of coordination. Cervical myelopathy can rob individuals of their independence and limit their ability to perform everyday tasks. Knowing the causes and treatment options can help individuals better manage the condition.

Causes of

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs when the jelly-like center of a spinal disc bulges out of its place between two vertebrae. The herniated disc can put pressure on the spinal cord, causing pain and discomfort. In some cases, the herniated disc can also cause inflammation, swelling, and numbness in the neck, shoulders and arms.

Sudden Injury

Sudden injuries such as car accidents, falls or other trauma can lead to a deviated vertebra that compresses the spinal cord. Spinal injuries are particularly common in sports-related activities, such as football and wrestling, and those involved in high-impact activities should take appropriate precautions to protect their neck and spine from injury.

Arthritis in the Neck

Arthritis of the neck is a common cause of neck stiffness and pain, and can also result in softening of the spinal cord. Arthritis causes swelling and inflammation of the affected joints, which can put pressure on the surrounding tissue, including the spinal cord.

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Osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis is a degenerative condition that affects the joints and ligaments. It is most likely to affect individuals under the age of 25 and can cause stiff necks, pain and muscle weakness. Osteochondrosis can also cause the spinal cord to soften if left untreated.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which the vertebrae slip out of alignment, resulting in compression of the spinal cord. The condition is most common in older individuals and can cause pain, weakness and loss of coordination.

Treatments for

Medications

Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants can help relieve the pain, inflammation and stiffness caused by cervical myelopathy. Additionally, topical ointments and steroid injections can be used to provide relief.

Exercise and Physical Therapy

Exercise and physical therapy can help strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles, reduce muscle spasms and strengthen the spine. Strengthening exercises, stretching exercises and aerobic activities like walking, swimming or cycling can help individuals with cervical myelopathy regain mobility and reduce pain and stiffness.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic adjustments, manual manipulation and massage can help reduce pain, loosen muscles and improve joint mobility. Chiropractic care can also help relieve pressure on the spinal cord, helping individuals manage their condition more effectively.

Surgery

In some cases, surgery is necessary to restore the alignment of the vertebrae and relieve pressure on the spinal cord. Surgery is usually only recommended when non-surgical treatments have not been successful in alleviating the symptoms.

People Also Ask Questions

What are the symptoms of spinal cord softening?

The most common symptoms of spinal cord softening are weakness in the limbs, stiffness, numbness and loss of coordination. Other symptoms may include pain, muscle spasms and bladder and bowel control problems.

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How is cervical myelopathy diagnosed?

Cervical myelopathy is usually diagnosed with an x-ray, MRI scan and electrodiagnostic tests to measure the activity within the spinal cord and nerves.

What causes softening of the spinal cord?

Softening of the spinal cord is typically caused by wearing of the disks between the vertebrae, herniated discs, injury or arthritis in the neck.

What is the prognosis for cervical myelopathy?

The prognosis for individuals with cervical myelopathy depends on the severity of the condition, the individual’s age and overall health, and the effectiveness of their treatment. In most cases, the prognosis is better with early diagnosis and treatment.

Is surgery necessary for cervical myelopathy?

Surgery is usually only recommended when non-surgical treatments have not been successful in alleviating the symptoms. Surgery is usually only performed when the cervical myelopathy is severe and is causing significant discomfort.

Final Words

Softening of the spinal cord in the neck can have a profound impact on individuals’ quality of life. Knowing the various treatments and taking the necessary precautions can help individuals better manage their condition and live life to the fullest. Early diagnosis and treatment is key for a successful outcome, so it is important for individuals to be aware of the symptoms of cervical myelopathy and seek medical help as soon as possible.