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What is a common cause of myelopathy?

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Quick Answer

A common cause of myelopathy is a herniated disk, according to the American Journal of Neuroradiology. This occurs when the cushioning material between the vertebrae is pushed out and presses against the spinal cord, which can cause pain. Another common cause is a bone spur called an osteophyte.

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What is a common cause of myelopathy?
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Full Answer

Tumors of the spine and injuries are other causes of myelopathy, says the American Journal of Neuroradiology. Another common cause of myelopathy affects the neck, or the area of the cervical spine, and is caused by the spinal canal narrowing due to normal stress and strain, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Before the myelopathy is treated, the condition must be diagnosed as coming from the spinal cord and not the brain or the rest of the nervous system, claims the American Journal of Neuroradiology. The treatment depends on the specific damage to the spine. For example, a blunt or penetrating trauma requires the spine be stabilized.

In other cases, the causes of myelopathy can be treated nonsurgically, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. These treatments can involve everything from soft collars; exercise; NSAIDs such as ibuprofen; cortisone injections into the area; and chiropractic care, though this is not used if the patient has a compressed spinal nerve.

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