Cervical Cord Compression Causes
As we age, degenerative changes to the cervical vertebrae, discs and joints may have significant effects on the spinal cord resulting in a compression or tightening around the spinal cord. Some individuals are born with a smaller spinal canal and are more prone to spinal cord compression.
Cervical Cord Compression Symptoms
Cervical cord compression symptoms may include heavy feeling in the arms and legs, cervical pain that is referred to the arm, shooting pains in the arms and legs, and/or difficulty walking and performing activities involving fine motor skills (handwriting, buttoning a shirt, etc.). In the most severe form it an rarely include loss of bowel and bladder control.
Cervical Cord Compression Treatment
Conservative treatment like NSAIDS, activity modification and exercises may help relieve the arm pain. If conservative treatment is unsuccessful, cervical spine surgery that decompresses the spinal canal is typically recommended. Your Emory Spine physician will discuss the treatment options with you to determine the best plan of care.