Cervical Spondylosis With Myelopathy

Cervical Spondylosis Myelopathy (CSM) is a common neck condition that goes with age. As you advance in age normal tear and wear effects can result to the thinning of the spinal canal. It can compress the spinal cord thus can lead to various symptoms like weakness, numbness or pain.

Compression of the spinal cord is common problem of the back and this condition often affects the elderly in the United States. Symptoms usually show after the age fifty but it can occur at an early age if there is an injury in the spine. Once symptoms shows, it continues to progress slowly over several years. About five to twenty percent of cases of CSM progress quickly.

Some health conditions that may cause CSM includes Rheumatoid arthritis and cervical disc degeneration. The former can damage the joints in the neck thus cause severe pain and stiffness while the latter can cause stress to the joints in the spine which can result to further deterioration. The function of the disc is a shock absorber but as one gets older, the tear and wear affects the disc leading to cervical disc degeneration.

Another cause of CSM is injury. The neck is the one that supports the head and is one part of the body that is very vulnerable to injury. Various accidents can result to injury in the neck. Other causes which are less common include infections, tumors and abnormalities of the vertebrae at birth.

Symptoms of Cervical spondylosis with myelopathy includes the following – neck stiffness and pain; coordination problems, loss of balance thus having difficulty in walking; tingling and numbness; and weakness.

Diagnosing the condition includes getting the patients complete medical history and a physical examination of your neck. Your doctor might want to look for muscle atrophy, numbness in the arms and hands; weakness that is mostly in the arms and abnormal reflexes (Spine 1996). After the physical examination doctor may request more tests like myelogram, MRI and X-ray to confirm its diagnosis.

Some people do get relief from symptoms without surgery. Non-surgical treatment includes soft collars which lets the muscles of your neck to rest and limit movement of the neck. Exercise is also good for CSM since it improves flexibility and strength. Taking of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help lessen the pain and swelling. For severe pain and fast relief of pain, epidural steroid injections can be administered for CSM patients. And of course not to forget chiropractic manipulation to decompress the compressed spinal cord.

There are still other conservative forms of treatment however if you have exhausted all conservative forms of treatment then surgery may be your only option.