What Is Spinal Cord Compression?

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Spinal cord compression, as the name suggests, is a condition that’s characterized by the compression of the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves in the back that connects the brain to vital muscle groups throughout your the body. When you lift your leg, your brain sends the message to the appropriate muscles via the spinal cord, essentially telling it to lift. Although the spinal cord is naturally protected by the 33 bones running down back (known as vertebrae), it may still become compressed due to a number of different conditions.

Symptoms of spinal cord compression can vary greatly depending on the underlying cause. Some people may experience severe back pain, urinary retention and swelling, while others may experience no symptoms at all. If there’s enough force pressed against the spinal cord, the individual may experience temporary paralysis below the affected area.

The most common form of spinal cord compression is osteoarthritis. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop spinal cord compression from the natural wearing of the supporting cartilage surrounding the vertebrae. When this cartilage wears away, the bones may press against the spinal cord; thus, resulting in the condition known as spinal cord compression.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely cure or prevent osteoarthritis; however, there are precautionary measures people can take to slow down its progress. Maintaining good posture – while both standing and sitting – plays a major role in the reduction of osteoarthritis. When a person is hunched over for long periods of time, the awkward position creates tension in joints throughout the body.

Of course, physical trauma may also result in spinal cord compression. If a person suffers a direct blow to his or her back during an automobile accident, it could place pressure on the spinal cord. This is especially true when the resulting blow fractures one or more vertebrae, sending boney fragments into the surrounding tissue. Even if you feel fine after being in an automobile accident, it’s always a good idea to always get checked out by a medical practitioner.

A third possible cause of spinal cord compression is a spinal tumor. If there’s a tumor growing around the vertebrae, it may press against the spinal cord. Symptoms of spinal cord compression may last days, weeks or even years, which is why it’s important for individuals suffering from this condition to seek professional help. Allowing tumors, fractures or other underlying conditions to go unnoticed will only make the problem progressively worse.

If you are experiencing pain and/or numbness in the back, talk with your chiropractor to see what they recommend. A serious of chiropractic adjustments and alignments may release the pressure on the spinal cord, allowing the body to heal in a fast and painless manner.

Call or email the staff at AtlantaChiroAndWellness.com to schedule an appointment.

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