Spinal cord compression is a condition in which the spinal cord becomes compressed or pinched, which can cause pain, weakness, and difficulty walking. The spinal cord is a vital part of our body’s central nervous system that carries signals between the brain and the rest of the body. These signals do not transmit properly if there is compression in the spinal cord and the body’s functions can be severely impacted. The condition can be caused by a variety of factors such as herniated discs, bone spurs, tumors, or spinal fractures. Spinal cord compression can lead to a loss of sensation and mobility in the limbs, as well as chronic pain, and in severe cases it can even lead to complete paralysis. The earlier this condition is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of preserving function and preventing serious complications.
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Some of the most commonly observed symptoms of Spinal Cord Compression include:
Your doctor might conduct some or all of the following diagnostic tests:
Doctors try to treat spinal cord compression with conservative treatment first. This may include giving medications, physical therapies, and bracing. Surgery is necessary if the compression is caused by a herniated disc or a tumor, or if conservative treatments are not effective. Surgical treatments include;
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Spinal cord compression can’t be prevented but early diagnosis and treatment can prevent serious complications and improve outcomes.
It is important to keep your body healthy and make sure to get regular check-ups, physical therapy if needed, and avoid major trauma or injury to the spine when possible. Also avoiding smoking, maintaining healthy weight and good posture are also beneficial to prevent spinal cord compression.
The recovery time for spinal cord compression can vary depending on the severity of the condition, the underlying cause, and the type of treatment received. Recovery from conservative treatments such as physical therapy and medications may take several weeks or months. Surgery can take several months to recover, with additional time for physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Risks and complications associated with surgery for spinal cord compression can include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and spinal cord injury. However, these risks are generally considered to be low when performed by an experienced surgeon.
Physical therapy can be effective in managing symptoms of spinal cord compression, such as pain and muscle weakness. A physical therapist can help you improve your flexibility, strengthen your muscles, and teach you exercises to improve your posture and balance.
Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, and engaging in regular exercise can help
reduce the risk of developing spinal cord compression. Additionally, good posture and proper body mechanics can help alleviate symptoms of spinal cord compression.