Syringomyelia refers to a disorder in which a cyst forms in the spinal cord. The cyst occurs in the form of fluid-filled cyst.
The problem with Syringomyelia is that the cyst can become bigger and ultimately causing paralysis.
What are the causes of Syringomyelia?
There are a few known causes of Syringomyelia.
Chiari malformation is the leading cause of this condition. It occurs when the brain substances enter the spinal cord.
Accident that result in spinal cord injuries is another common cause.
Tumor in the spinal cord and infection can cause Syringomyelia too.
What are the symptoms of Syringomyelia?
When the cyst is small, you may not evenknow that you have this condition. The symptoms get worse as the cyst grows.
A very common symptom is the stiffness in the neck. That may progress to pain in the neck and numbness of your face.
Your neck, shoulders and legs are often the first part of the body to feel the symptoms. You may find that you have lost reflexes, and experience muscle wastage as the condition gets worse.
You may feel the muscle weakness in the leg or experience a tingling sensation from shoulder down to your leg.
When Syringomyelia gets to an advance stage, you will find that you suffer from complete paralysis of the body.
The problem with diagnosing Syringomyelia is that it can take years before the symptoms become clear enough.
Most office workers suffer from stiff neck due to bad sitting posture. The doctors will hardly diagnose Syringomyelia if you complain of stiff neck.
How doctors diagnose Syringomyelia?
The doctors will order a MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) to scan your spine and spinal cord area.
The MRI is the conclusive test to diagnose Syringomyelia.
What are the treatments for Syringomyelia?
If you do not even experience serious symptoms, the doctors may decide to do nothing. There are cases where the cyst dissolves on its own. However, that is relatively rare.
The problem is that surgical removal is not always possible. Sometimes the spinal cord suffers permanent damage from Syringomyelia. It is too late for surgical procedure to help you.
Physical therapy is used to help in the muscles weakness problem. Regular exercise can restores some mobility function, and reduce the muscle wastage.
How to live with Syringomyelia?
Syringomyelia causes inconvenience to your life. You no longer can enjoy vigorous activities and many outdoor activities.
You need to avoid many exercises, such as skydiving, football and other vigorous exercises. You cannot lift heavy object for fear of further damaging your spinal cord.
You may suffer chronic pain and need constant administration of pain medications.
The problem with Syringomyelia is that it deteriorates slowly. When the condition is progressing from bad to worse, you may feel that your ability to take care of yourself weakens considerably.
You may need to give up full time employment. You may drop things frequently and break many cups and bowls.
Living with Syringomyelia takes courage.
Scheng1 is a passionate blogger from Singapore. Rich in every sense reveals my deep desire in enjoying life, and be rich in every possible ways.