Understanding Cervical Myelopathy
Myelopathy is the medical term for an injury to the spinal cord due to severe compression that may result from trauma, congenital stenosis, and degenerative disease or disc herniation. The spinal cord is a cable that is housed by 24 vertebrae which runs from the base of the skull to the hard bone between the buttocks known as the sacrum. When any portion of the spinal cord becomes compressed or constricted, the resulting symptoms are known as myelopathy.
Mainstream health care lists surgery as the only option to treat myelopathy. However, our Los Angeles Upper Cervical Health Care office over the past 18 years has seen many cases of cervical and lumbar myelopathy resulting from spinal disc bulge or protrusion. Commonly, cervical spine injuries result in loss of normal spinal curves which over time can cause disc trauma and eventually profusion that flattens the cord.
Precision correction of spinal misalignment in the cervical spine can often allow the postural muscle tone to correct, allowing the pressure between the vertebrae to decompress, which can help the disc return to normal. Many cases of cervical and lumbar myelopathy can improve or resolve through precision Blair Upper Cervical Care.
Cervical Myelopathy is an advanced degenerative spinal cord disorder that impacts the cord to the extent that the function of the nervous system is compromised. Most often, myelopathy is due to long-standing postural muscle tone imbalance, loss of cervical curve, which together make the cervical disc susceptible to protrusion. Once cervical disc bulge exists if large enough it encroaches upon the cord and is known as cervical myelopathy.
Cervical Myelopathy Symptoms
Pain areas: in the back or neck
Muscular: abnormality walking, instability, lack of coordination, muscle weakness, problems with coordination, rhythmic muscle spasm, stiff muscles, loss of muscle, or overactive reflexes
Sensory: reduced sensation of touch or uncomfortable tingling and burning
Cervical Myelopathy Causes
Cervical Myelopathy can result from trauma, congenital narrowing of the spinal cord, and disc protrusion. As you age, inflammation, arthritic illness, bone spurs and the flattening of the spinal discs between the vertebrae can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerve roots. Myelopathy typically develops slowly as a result of the gradual degeneration of the spine spondylosis but it can also take an acute form or stem from a spine deformity present at birth.
- Common causes of myelopathy are degenerative spinal conditions, such as spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the bony passageways of the spine through which the spinal cord and nerve roots travel.
- Central disc herniations can also result in compression on the spinal cord, leading to the development of myelopathy.
- Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis in the spine can also lead to degenerative changes in the vertebrae that result in spinal cord compression and myelopathy.
- Acute myelopathy can develop quickly as a result of a spinal injury, spinal infection, inflammatory disease, radiation therapy or neurological disorders.
What to do About Cervical Myelopathy
There are some severe cases of myelopathy where surgery is required. However, prior to having surgery less invasive interventions should be consulted first. In our Los Angeles Upper Cervical Health Care office we find that 80 percent of surgical myelopathy cases recover following conservative intervention with the Blair Upper Cervical Technique. Later in this article, there is a detailed explanation about, “What is Blair Upper Cervical Technique.”
Cervical Myelopathy in Adults
It is estimated that 4 out of 100 000 adults are hospitalized for cervical myelopathy each year and surgical intervention is up 7 fold year over year.
Cervical Myelopathy in Children
Cervical myelopathy in children is extremely rare and most commonly results from trauma and congenital anomalies from birth.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Cervical Myelopathy Diagnostic
Upper Cervical Doctors use a battery of neurological tests to determine whether the top of the neck is misaligned and interfering with normal nervous system function. This achieved by infrared thermography, leg balance tests, and spinal palpation.
Each test determines whether or not a pattern of neurological interference exists in the cervical spine or not. Because the cervical spine is the seat of control for postural muscle tone injury to the neck often precedes cervical spine myelopathy and correction of it can lead to recovery.
Chiropractic Treatment for Cervical Myelopathy
Myelopathy of the cervical cord can sometimes be helped with Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic care. We have found in our Los Angeles Upper Cervical Health Cate office that around 70 percent of surgical candidates will avoid cervical spine disc surgery if they get under our care.
This is achieved by removing irritation to the most critical area of the body, the brainstem. Because the upper cervical spine houses the brainstem prior neck injury can cause injury to the supporting soft tissue and as a result abnormal biomechanics of the spine lead to neurological deficits, muscle tone imbalances, and can be the underlying cause that leads to cervical myelopathy in the first place.
While Blair Upper Cervical Cate IS NOT A CURE ALL, precision corrections made in the neck and proper long term maintenance and checking of the cervical spine can allow the body to improve posture, postural muscle tone imbalance which can allow the body to heal mend and repair to a point where surgical intervention is often unnecessary.
What is Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic?
Blair Upper Cervical doctors are specially trained to find spinal misalignments in the upper cervical spine. This is determined by running the prospective patient through a battery of neurological tests that locate the spinal segments that have been injured and misaligned by a prior neck injury.
Once located, precision imaging in the form of digital x-ray or cone-beam computed tomography (Cbct) is used to precisely determine which joint has misaligned and the angulation of the offending joint. Each person’s anatomy is different and therefore imaging is used to uncover the blueprint to be used to correct each patient’s individual misalignment pattern. Once this information is gleaned, a gentle, light correction is made without twisting, popping, or pulling.
The patient is then monitored overtime to ensure that the correction is holding. If the testing indicates the need for another correction, then it is performed. However, the goal of Blair Upper Cervical Care is for the patient to stay in “adjustment”. It isn’t the correction that produces healing.
It is the removal of nerve irritation and the adjustment “holding” in its normal position that allows the body to function better and proceed through a healing process.
If you or a loved one is looking for natural Low back disc pain treatment, our offices offer a FREE consultation.
If you are outside of the LOS ANGELES area and looking for a Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractor, you can call our office and we would be happy to help find you a qualified doctor in your area