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Cervical myelopathy refers to a condition where the spinal cord is damaged, specifically in the cervical, or neck, portion of the spine.
Symptoms of this condition can vary from patient to patient, so consider talking with a specialist if you think you might be suffering from cervical myelopathy.
How do I know if I have myelopathy?
Symptoms of cervical myelopathy are dependent on the level of damage and compression to the spinal cord. You should talk with a specialist about cervical myelopathy if you are experiencing the following:
• Numbness, clumsiness, or weakness of the hands
• Stiffness in the legs
• Loss of balance
• Neck pain
In many cases, the natural effects of aging can cause herniated discs. When we get older, we lose some of the fluid in the spinal discs — this gives the discs less “bounce,” and leads to weakening of the discs.
Any condition which adds pressure to the spine can cause a herniated disc to form, including obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and repetitive motion.
What is the right treatment for me?
Cervical myelopathy may cause similar symptoms to other conditions, so the diagnosis of cervical myelopathy is thorough and can require a few tests.
If you have worked with a specialist and attempted more conservative treatment methods for your symptoms (physical therapy, pain medication, steroid injections), you may want to consult with your doctor about taking further steps to manage your condition.
Your doctor may suggest surgery to help alleviate the pressure on your spine and to heal any possible damage. Our team at Alexander Bone and Spine Institute will consider your condition carefully before making any recommendations on treatment options for you.