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Cervical Myelopathy

What is Cervical Myelopathy?

It is a neck condition that arises when the spinal cord becomes compressed or squeezed due to the wear and tear changes that occur in the spine as we age. This condition commonly occurs in patients over the age of 50.

Can physiotherapy help people with cervical myelopathy?

Mild cases of cervical myelopathy respond to physiotherapy while moderate and severe cases require surgery. The goals of physiotherapy include:

  • Pain relief
  • To improve function
  • To prevent neurological deterioration
  • To reverse or improve neurological deficits like numbness and tingling
  • To improve or maintain muscle strength, endurance and flexibility
  • To improve cervical alignment and neck posture

What causes cervical myelopathy?

  • Degenerative disc disease

  • Spondylosis

  • Spinal stenosis

  • Degenerative spondylolisthesis

  • Osteophyte formation at the facet joint of the cervical spine

  • Mechanical abnormality of the cervical spine or instability

  • Spinal cord ischaemia

How do I know I have cervical myelopathy?

You will experience the following symptoms:

  • Tingling, numbness, clumsiness and painful hands

  • Weakness in the muscles of the arms, shoulders, or hands. You may have trouble grasping and holding on to items

  • Neck pain and stiffness

  • Shoulder and scapular pain

  • Unsteady gait

  • You may have difficulty with handwriting, buttoning your clothes, picking up coins, or feeding yourself

Not sure about your conditions?

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