Myelopathy: Part 2
In Part 1 of this post, we listed some of the symptoms and potential causes of myelopathy. In Part 2, we will discuss some of the methods used to treat myelopathy.
Methods of Treating Myelopathy
- Avoidance of activities that cause pain;
- Using a brace to immobilize the neck;
- Physical therapy (primarily exercises to improve neck strength and flexibility);
- Various medication (including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), oral corticosteroids, muscle relaxants, anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, and prescription pain relievers);
- Epidural steroid injections (ESI);
- Narcotics, if pain is very severe;
- Surgical removal of bone spurs/herniated discs putting pressure on spinal cord;
- Surgical removal of portions of vertebrae in spine (to give the spinal cord more room); and
- Spinal fusion surgery.
Myelopathy can be severely debilitating, particularly for doctors and dentists. Obviously, any physician or dentist who is experiencing a loss of motor skills, numbness in hands and arms and/or high levels of chronic pain will not be able to effectively treat patients.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to ask your doctor to conduct tests to see if your spinal cord is being compressed. If you have myelopathy and the pain and numbness has progressed to the point where you can no longer treat patients effectively or safely, you should stop treating patients and consider filing a disability claim.