× Contact
(866) 590-0601


What Is Myelopathy?


Myelopathy is an injury to your spine caused by severe spinal cord compression. Spinal compression in any section of your spine causes severe physical symptoms. The condition progresses gradually with age, but early diagnosis improves your chances for a successful outcome from treatment.

Your spinal cord is the superhighway of your nervous system. Through it, your brain communicates and controls multiple parts of your body. When you suffer a compressed spine, the nerve roots that exit your spinal canal become pinched, causing not only back pain, but a cluster of symptoms in other parts of your body. Myelopathy degrades your quality of life.

To get the best treatment for myelopathy or other spinal conditions, visit a top spine specialist like those at Premier Brain & Spine. These spine specialists use a multi-faceted approach to treat a variety of conditions, including:

Where Does Myelopathy Strike?


Symptoms of myelopathy can affect any part of your spine. The location of these symptoms helps your doctor categorize the type of spinal injury you have. Spinal doctors classify myelopathy as:

  • Cervical myelopathy. A spinal injury in the cervical section spine creates compression in your neck. Your cervical spine has seven vertebrae, six vertebral discs, and eight nerve roots. Cervical myelopathy causes symptoms within the neck region and further down your body.
  • Thoracic myelopathy. Compression of your spinal cord in the thoracic region of the spine is often caused by a bulging or herniated disc, bone spurs or a spine injury to your mid-back.
  • Lumbar myelopathy. Myelopathy is rare in your lower back, as it most frequently occurs in your neck and thoracic regions. Compression in your lumbar spine often results in sciatica symptoms. Your spine doctor needs expertise and advanced technology to treat your spinal condition effectively. The specialists at the spine center in NJ have what it takes to perform advanced spinal procedures. Whether you need medication, therapy or spine surgery, your doctor offers the most appropriate treatment for your compressed spinal cord

Am I Suffering from Spinal Cord Compression?

Symptoms of a compressed spinal cord are hard to miss. Some common symptoms of myelopathy include:

  • Shooting pain in your neck or lower back pain
  • Pain that radiates to your arm or legs
  • A loss of sensation, tingling and weakness in your limbs
  • Clumsiness or problems with fine motor skills
  • Abnormal or unusual reflexes in your extremities
  • Incontinence, the loss of urinary or bowel control
  • Poor balance, coordination and walking issues
  • Weak grip strength

If you notice any of these signs, visit a top spine specialist. The doctors at Premier Brain & Spine treat the most complex spinal problems, such as spinal compression, using proven procedures.

What Causes Myelopathy?

Any changes in your spine that cause spinal cord compression can lead to myelopathy. The condition develops gradually until the symptoms become severe. Then you require medical attention. Early diagnosis gives you the best chance for a full recovery. The most common causes of spinal compression include:

  • Trauma. A sudden injury or infection can cause changes in your spinal column, leading to compression of the spinal cord.
  • Osteophytes. These are bone spurs that grow on your vertebrae. The bony lumps may push on the spinal cord, causing myelopathy.
  • Autoimmune disorders. Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis in the spine cause degenerative changes in your spinal bones that can lead to spinal cord compression and myelopathy.
  • Spondylosis. This condition refers to gradual degeneration of the spine. Compression can result if it’s left untreated.
  • Spinal stenosis. This spinal condition causes a narrowing of your spine, which compresses the spinal cord. As a result, you experience painful symptoms.
  • Herniated or ruptured spinal discs. Spinal discs provide cushioning between your vertebrae. Herniated discs expel the jelly-like fluid, which invades the spinal canal and compresses your spinal cord.
  • Spinal tumors. Tumors in your spine push on your spinal cord, causing painful compression symptoms.
  • Nerve diseases. Conditions such as Parkinson’s disease affect nerve function. When the disease affects spinal nerves, you may experience symptoms of myelopathy.
  • Cervical kyphosis. An exaggerated curve in your neck can cause spinal cord compression.

Using the latest diagnostic equipment, your NJ orthopedics doctor identifies the cause of your spinal compression. The diagnosis helps the doctor develop a personalized treatment plan for you.

How Is Myelopathy Treated?

Your doctor selects the most effective treatment based on your diagnosis. Treatment options for a compressed spinal cord include:

The spine specialists at Premier Brain & Spine address the underlying cause of your spinal compression to treat your symptoms. For the best spinal treatments, contact the doctors at the nearest office. Premier Brain & Spine has locations in New Jersey in Hackensack, Paterson, Edison, Union, Rutherford, Freehold, Bayonne, West Orange, and West Caldwell, and in New York in Goshen.

Updated on Jul 27, 2022 by Dr. David Wells-Roth (Neurosurgeon) of Premier Brain & Spine

Premier Brain & Spine
10 Parsonage Rd, Suite 208A
Edison, NJ 08837
(732) 258-0190