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Chiropractic Research Review

Managing Cervical Cord Compression:

Cervical spondylosis is a progressive, degenerative process that can cause cervical cord compression and myelopathy in men and women over the age of 50. Early and subtle signs of prespondylosis may be expressed as denervation supersensitivity of target organs.

The clinical expression of cervical myelopathy usually appears in the later stages of the disease and may include gait abnormality, dysfunction of the upper limbs and sensory disturbances, including pain.

High-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts directed to the cervical spinal segments may be contraindicated in cases of severe cord compression or in the presence of significant degenerative changes. However, neurodynamic techniques that are more passive in nature, such as nerve stretching or gentle oscillatory movements to cervical spine joints, may be "relatively safe and directed to the source of the patients disorder."

The benefits of manual therapy include improved neural mechanics and physiological function, increased flexibility of somatic connective tissue, heightened motor performance and changes in pain mechanisms. Nervous system mobilizations may be an effective option, especially when a surgical procedure is refused by the patient or not indicated by clinical and diagnostic evaluation.

Zvulun I. Mobilizing the nervous system in cervical cord compression. Manual Therapy, Feb. 1998;3(1), pp42-47.

Chiropractic Research Review

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