Spinal Cord Compression is a physical disorder that is caused by pressure on the spinal cord; this pressure can be caused by a wide variety of conditions. As you may know, your spinal cord is comprised of millions of nerves. These nerves transmit signals throughout your entire body. The signals are first sent to your brain, and then they spread to the muscles and other tissues within your body. Your spinal cord is covered and protected by small bones that are stacked; these bones are called vertebrae. In addition to protecting your spinal cord, vertebrae contribute to your posture and the way you carry yourself. You can often see and feel vertebrae beneath skin and muscles in your back. There are small openings between each vertebrae, and you can often see and feel these ridges, too. This is where nerves from your spinal cord are exposed and vulnerable.
Since your spinal cord goes from your neck to your tailbone, Spinal Cord Compression can greatly impact any part of your spine. This physical condition has a variety of different symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Compression of the spinal cord can cause numbness, pain, discomfort or a general weak feeling in your back and neck. As different things can cause compression to occur, the onset of symptoms can range from gradual to sudden. In some cases, compression pain and other symptoms can be treated with over the counter remedies. In other cases, compression side effects are treated with surgery, medication and intense physical rehabilitation. Some people who suffer from sudden or severe compression may require emergency surgery to remedy the problem.
To avoid and properly treat Spinal Cord Compression, it is important to be aware of the common causes of this physical disorder. The top causes of compression include arthritis of the spine, back injuries, osteoporosis and other bone diseases, tumors and misalignment of the spine. Other causes may include various infections and abnormalities that can affect the spine. Out of all of these causes, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis are the most common culprits. These diseases can affect any area of the spine, so spinal compression occurs throughout all of these areas. Medical professionals classify the spine into three separate parts – the lumbar spine, the thoracic spine and the cervical spine.
The symptoms of Spinal Cord Compression are common, but there are several other symptoms that you may consider keeping an eye out for. These symptoms directly effect the spinal cord and include unusual stiffness, a burning sensation known as sciatica, loss of feeling or tingling in your feet, problems with hand coordination, and numbness or pain in the feet, hands and legs. The lumbar spine, which is the lower part of your spine, can be particularly affected by symptoms such as severe pain and difficulty controlling your bladder and bowel movements.
To diagnose and treat Spinal Cord Compression, you may visit an arthritis specialist, physical therapist or a pain specialist. These medical professionals will run tests to determine the severity of your compression. From there, you may receive proper treatment to relieve your symptoms.