Cervical myelopathy: causes, symptoms, treatment, prognosis
Pathology arising from damage to the spinal cord, called myelopathy. If the lesion occurs in the first seven vertebrae (neck), it is referred to as myelopathy of the cervical, symptoms, causes and treatment options which will be discussed in this article. The spinal cord is the part of the Central nervous system, which is responsible for important functions. Any disease will lead to violations of the normal functioning of the body and malfunction of internal organs.
The content of the article
Why is developing myelopathy
Any disease, including myelopathy of the cervical, do not simply appear. Everything happens for a reason. The most common include:
- Severe bruises and other injuries in the neck;
- Poorly made of puncture and the operation;
- Inflammatory and infectious processes;
- Excessive load on the spine;
- Several sports at the professional level;
- Pathology of the cardiovascular system;
- Tumors, hernia, causing spinal cord compression.
- The destruction of bone tissue, desiccation of the intervertebral discs due to age-related changes;
- Nutrient, a metabolic substance in the body.
The cause of cervical myelopathy can be a muscle inflammation, obtained in a draft or under other adverse conditions. The result starts swelling muscle, violation reduction. Is accompanied by painful sensations in the region of neck, compression of the nerve endings spasms.
Because of disorders in the nervous system, developing myelopathy of the cervical. It affects the whole body, impairs the reflex function and reduces protective. Trigger the disease inflammation of the joints (arthritis), pathology of the autoimmune system (transverse myelitis, multiple sclerosis), Oncology, radiation exposure, congenital anomalies of the spine.
Classification of the disease
Cervical myelopathy is classified by the causes, character and intensity. Identify the following types based on the speed of development of the disease:
- Progressive is a rapidly developing;
- Chronic – mild symptoms, the disease is not progressing.
Often the emergence of myelopathy of the cervical to blame another disease, as evidenced by the names:
- Traumatic – caused by injury;
- Compression – is a result of compression of the spine;
- Ischemic – divided into atherosclerotic and vascular shape obtained as a result of occlusion of blood vessels, disturbance of blood circulation;
- Alopecia – occurs because of effects on the body of radioactive substances, etc.;
- Spondylogenic the result of degeneration of the spine;
- Vertebral – appears after the hernia, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, trauma;
- Infectious – can become a companion of syphilis, tuberculosis, HIV, enteroviral infection;
- Epidural – caused by hemorrhage into the spinal cord, which can lead to irreversible consequences;
- Metabolic – occurs because of failures in work of endocrine system and metabolic processes.
Due to the fact that the classification of cervical myelopathy is extensive, the disease is accompanied by various symptoms.
- Perhaps information will be useful to you: secondary stenosis
The main symptoms
Of all the possible locations, myelopathy cervical is the most difficult. Should immediately go to the hospital, if the following signs:
- Pain in the neck, radiating between the shoulder blades and on the shoulders, increasing during the movement, not fading after anesthetic;
- Cramps, spasms, weakness of the limbs;
- Stiffness and discomfort when moving the head;
- Numbness of the limbs, appearance of goose skin, problems with fine motor skills;
- Spontaneous twitching of hands;
- Failures in the coordination of movements, gait changes, lack of movements;
- Memory impairment, brain activity;
- Problems with defecation and urination;
- Numbness of the skin on the neck;
- Pressure surges.
Complicated cases of cervical myelopathy may be accompanied by paresis and paralysis. You should not neglect medical help, to restore the function of paralyzed limbs is quite difficult. Timely diagnosis of the disease helps to avoid irreversible consequences.
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How to diagnose the disease
In order for treatment to be effective, it is important to pass a comprehensive examination that includes laboratory and clinical research. In the first stage, the doctor conducts questioning of the patient, palpation of the affected area, checks functionality and reflexes, is history.
For a more accurate diagnosis, apply the following tests:
- Magnetic resonance imaging;
- Computed tomography;
- Radiation diagnosis;
- Chest x-rays;
Additionally physician may prescribe several laboratory tests that will show the full picture. These include:
- General and biochemical blood tests;
- Biopsy tissue;
- Analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid.
A spinal tap is conducted if a doctor suspects a patient has cancer. The procedure will determine whether the cells of cancer of the spine. Also performed reflex testing, monitored the activity of muscle tissue, their vision will be tested. Only after all the diagnostic procedures, the doctor selects the appropriate treatment given the patient's age and presence of comorbidities.
How to treat a myelopathy
The attending physician prescribes therapy based on the causes and intensity of the disease. It can be conservative or operative. If the patient complains of severe pain, he prescribed painkillers, anti-inflammatory, drugs (Indomethacin, Ibuprofen, Ortofen). If there is compression of the nerve endings, causing excruciating pain are injections of steroid hormones.
When tests revealed an infection in the body, it is recommended to take antibacterial drugs that are selected depending on the pathogen. To improve metabolic processes and prevent tissue hypoxia, prescribed Piracetam, Actovegin, Cerebrolysin. To relieve muscle spasm and pain in the neck, suitable Baksolan, Tolperison, Mydocalm, sirdalud.
Tools that widen blood vessels, improving blood circulation and neuroprotective agents, it is recommended to take ischemic cervical myelopathy. These include Trental, no-Spa, Tanakan, Papaverine, Cavinton.
In the treatment process, it is important to follow a variety of diet so the body receives essential nutrients, the immune system worked without a hitch. This is especially true of vitamins B6 and B1. We recommend taking vitamin-mineral complexes, which can be purchased in any pharmacy item.
To remove the load on the muscles of the cervical spine, the doctor may prescribe a neck collar. The device strengthens the structure of muscle tissue, gives it rest, reduces the compression of nerves. You can't use the collar for too long otherwise the muscles will weaken, and the effect will turn out the opposite.
To consolidate the gains made during the treatment result, the patient is sent for physical therapy and physiotherapy. The course lasts two months and is aimed at stretching the cervical vertebrae. Exercises are performed only under the supervision of a specialist.
In severe cases of myelopathy of the cervical spine treated by surgery. The operation is performed in the case of long-term medical treatment did not bring positive results when there are severe pain on the background of progressive disease. Surgically getting rid of herniated discs, tumors. Unfavorable predictions with myelopathy in the background of arthritis. This pathology cannot be fully cured so the doctor makes recommendations for the prevention of the progression of the disease and prescribes drugs that can help reduce the pain.
Myelopathy of the cervical can lead to a rather serious negative consequences in the form of paralysis, disturbance of motor function, phantom limb pain, disorders of reflexes, reduction of sensitivity. The lighter the damage, the faster will be provided with medical assistance, the more chances for a speedy recovery.