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Syringomyelia

What is Syringomyelia?

It results from the formation of a fluid-filled cyst within the spinal cord.

Can physiotherapy help people with syringomyelia?

Yes. The goals of physiotherapy treatment are to stop the spinal cord damage from getting worse and to maximize functioning.

What are the causes of Syringomyelia?

It is caused by malformation of the brain called Chiari type 1 formation (CM1). It can also develop as a complication of the following condition:

  • Trauma

  • Meningitis

  • Haemorrhage

  • Tumour

  • Arachnoiditis

What are the symptoms of syringomyelia?

  • Pain and weakness in the back, shoulders, arms or legs

  • Headaches

  • Reduced skin sensations, such as not being able to feel extremes of heat and cold

  • Loss of sensation in the hands, including sensations of pain

  • Muscle atrophy (wasting), usually beginning in the hands and spreading to include the arms and shoulders

  • Severe pain in the shoulders and neck

  • Reduced bowel and bladder control common in the later stages

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Dizziness

  • Uncoordinated movements and spasms

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