Understanding The Pain Caused By Spinal Cord Compression
Your spinal cord is a delicate, intricate bundle of nerves that runs from the base of your neck down the entire back right till the base of your torso. Protecting the spinal cord is a stack of bones called the vertebrae. The muscles are connected to the nerves of the spinal cord that run from between the openings of each vertebrae.
When anything puts pressure on your spinal cord, it inadvertently compresses these nerves, causing numbness and nagging pain. This condition is termed Spinal Cord Compression.
Where does the pain occur?
The entire spine is divided into 3 parts:
.The cervical part that supports the neck with 7 vertebrae
Compression of the nerves can occur in any of the three parts.
What are the reasons ?
.One of the most common reasons is age and the gradual wear and tear of the muscles and vertebrae.
Diagnosing The Symptoms of Spinal Cord Compression
Unless accidents are the reason, gradual wear and tear will take years to bring about symptoms which are commonly characterized by :
.Pain and stiffness in the neck and back.
Some symptoms may be acute and they will require immediate medical attention. Pressure on the nerves of the lumbar region cause serious symptoms called Cauda Equina Syndrome which are characterized by:
.Loss of bowel and bladder control
What will the diagnosis reveal?
Spinal cord Compression can be diagnosed by X-rays, CT scan, MRI scan, Myelogram and Electromyography or EMG. Diagnoses will reveal bone growth called bone spurs that push against the spinal cord. They can also expose spinal tumors and abnormal alignment of the spine.
Remedy And Prevention Of Spinal Cord Compression
Accidental injuries, tumors and bone spurs cannot be prevented. However, wear and tear due to aging can be postponed by a few years if one takes to better lifestyle choices.
Regular exercising is the best option to keep the spine healthy and strong. You must also be mindful of your posture while sitting, standing or sleeping. The same applies when you lift and carry heavy objects.
Maintaining an ideal body weight coupled with an active lifestyle will be beneficial for more than just a healthy spine.
Treating spinal cord compression without delay
Sometimes, spinal cord compression will require the expertise of neurosurgeons, spinal neurosurgeons, ortho surgeons and general practitioners to diagnose and treat the condition. Depending on the severity of the condition treatment will vary from simple medication and physiotherapy to surgical procedures. Surgical procedures are the last resort except in cases of emergency like Cauda Equina syndrome.
One can manage spinal cord compression and keep it from getting worse by being aware of the condition and following the doctor’s advice and participating actively in the treatment process.
Read More : Are You Aware Of Spinal Cord Tumors?