Age is the number one catalyst for most spine conditions, purely because of the strain that comes after decades and decades of wear. Among the most damaging of age-related spinal conditions is spondylosis or arthritis of the vertebrae, which can lead to everything from vertebral fractures to herniated discs.
Spondylosis puts an aged spine at risk for cervical spondylotic myelopathy, as well. This condition is marked by the compression of the spinal cord, which puts strain on nerves, discs and supporting soft tissue.
For chiropractors working with senior patients, Ideal Spine recommends educating them on the damaging effects of cervical spondylotic myelopathy and how to safeguard against it.
Signs of cervical spondylotic myelopathy
The slow compression of the spine due to spondylosis generates the onset of numerous symptoms to qualify it. Seniors need to be aware of these symptoms and recognize them at their onset. More than that, they need to be vocal about them.
- Numbness in the extremities, such as fingers and toes;
- Loss of balance and coordination, or symptoms of instability;
- General neck pain or discomfort at the base of the neck;
- Referred pain in areas of the body such as the legs.
Additionally, aging patients with preexisting spinal conditions are prone to developing cervical spondylotic myelopathy, purely based on preexisting stresses. Common conditions further devolving from spondylosis include:
- Herniated discs;
- Disc degeneration;
- Disc inflammation.
These conditions, coupled with the symptoms above and a diagnosis of spondylosis invariably point to cervical spondylotic myelopathy.
Identifying the catalyst
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is generally triggered by either a traumatic event or an underlying condition atop spondylosis.
The first and most common in elderly patients is trauma. Slip and fall accidents can cause damage to the cervical spine that takes much longer to heal than it would’ve in their youth. This stress incites further compression of the vertebrae due to the body’s need to support itself. Moreover, traumas tend to affect muscles and ligaments, which weaken the overall level of support for the spine, bringing about more of a burden.
Another common catalyst for cervical spondylotic myelopathy, as mentioned, is arthritis. This autoimmune condition can affect the facet joints of the spine, causing instability that eventually leads to compression.
Safeguarding spine health
Most seniors are well aware of their increased risk of accidents and injury. Taking the time to inform them of this is important, but focus more on helping your patients address specific conditions they have or are at-risk for.
For patients with spondylosis or those at-risk for cervical spondylotic myelopathy, consider a Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) plan that involves decompression techniques, as well as strengthening components for core muscle groups. This, coupled with routine adjustments and routine wellness examinations by a physician, can provide a sound foundation for avoiding the deteriorating effects of cervical spondylotic myelopathy.
Ideal Spine encourages chiropractors to recognize at-risk patients through thorough spine health assessments, paying special mind to populations (like seniors) prone to degenerative conditions.
Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.