Spinal Cord Compression Symptoms

Spinal cord is about the diameter of a human finger and this connects to the brain. This cord ends at the middle of the back and it is protected or encased in a bony vertebral column. The spinal cord is surrounded with a cerebral spinal fluid which protects its fragile nerve tissues against any damage from banging against the vertebrae that encloses it.

Compression of spinal cord happen when the cord is compressed. What compresses spinal cord? Spinal cord is usually compressed by bone fragments from bone fracture, ruptured disc, a tumor or other injury.

What are the symptoms of spinal cord compression? Symptoms of compression of spinal cord can develop slowly or appears suddenly. The following are the most common symptoms of spinal cord compression;

Erectile Dysfunction

When spinal cord is compress, it might lead to erectile dysfunction. This is just temporary but in some cases where injury is severe, the dysfunction may be permanent.


The pain experience from spinal cord compression varies that is from mild to severe. If the compression is close to the sciatic nerve then pain may spread down to either leg or both and the pain may extend all the way to the foot. Muscles at the back may be tender to the touch and pressure in the back may be very painful. This happens if the spinal cord compression is cause by a cancerous growth or tumor.

Reflex Changes

Symptoms can include reflex changes. This usually includes loss sensation of full bladder, muscle control and bowel control. The capacity to control arms and legs may also be affected. If the spinal cord injury is mild then this reflex changes is temporary and returns to normal.

Tingling Sensation

Another symptom is tingling in the leg which spreads down to the foot. Feeling of pins and needles sensations in the legs and even down your feet.

Other Discomfort

Other symptoms can include muscle weakness, discomfort at the site of the injury, sweating and muscle spasm. Numbness in the legs and feet which can spread out to the arms and hands depending on the site of the injury.