What is Syringomyelia?

Syringomyelia is a disorder in which a cyst forms within the spinal cord.  This cyst, called a syrinx, expands and elongates over time, destroying a portion of the spinal cord from its centre and expanding outward.  As a syrinx widens it compresses and injures nerve fibres that carry information from the brain to the arms and legs.

Symptoms of Syringomyelia

The damage caused to the spinal cord often leads to progressive weakness in the arms and legs, stiffness in the back, shoulders, arms, or legs, and chronic, severe pain.  Other symptoms may include headaches, a loss of the ability to feel extremes of hot or cold and loss of bladder and other functions.

Each person experiences a different combination of symptoms depending on where in the spinal cord the syrinx forms and how far it extends.  Signs of the disorder tend to develop slowly.

Treatment of Syringomyelia

Syringomyelia is usually treated with surgery. Following surgery, a period of rehabilitation will be required to help preserve neurological function.

Following a detailed assessment, your physiotherapist will set specific goals with you and plan a programme of treatment which may involve: hands on treatment and stretches, specific exercises, suggestions of equipment or aids, practical problem solving and advice to improve day-to-day situations.

How can Neurocare Physiotherapy help me?

At Neurocare, we are all highly specialised in treating neurological conditions, so you can be confident that your physiotherapist will have the necessary experience to provide you with the specialist level of treatment which you deserve.