How Do You Treat Spinal Cord Compression Pain?

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What is spinal cord compression?

Spinal cord compression occurs when pressure is applied to the spinal cord, affecting nerves and causing symptoms like numbness, pain, and weakness. It can happen anywhere along the spine. Treatment depends on the cause and severity, ranging from conservative measures to emergency surgery in severe cases. Conditions like herniated discs, tumours, or spinal stenosis can lead to spinal cord compression.

Orthos Centre, a leading  Spine Centre in Pune specializes in treating spinal cord compression, addressing symptoms like numbness, pain, and weakness. From herniated discs to spinal stenosis, comprehensive care.

What causes spinal cord compression?

Spinal cord compression occurs when there is pressure on the spinal cord, leading to a disruption in its normal function. Several conditions can cause spinal cord compression, including:

Abnormal spine alignment:

Scoliosis, characterized by a sideways curvature of the spine, can lead to spinal cord compression in severe cases.

Injury to the spine:

Traumatic injuries, such as fractures or dislocations, can cause damage to the spinal cord and contribute to compression.

Spinal tumour:

Both benign and malignant tumours within or near the spinal cord can exert pressure, leading to compression.

Certain bone diseases:

Conditions like osteoporosis, characterized by weakened bones, can result in compression fractures affecting the spinal cord.

Rheumatoid arthritis:

Inflammatory joint diseases like rheumatoid arthritis may cause changes in the spine, potentially leading to spinal cord compression.


Spinal infections, such as discitis or vertebral osteomyelitis, can cause inflammation and swelling, contributing to spinal cord compression.

What are the symptoms of spinal cord compression?

Neck or back pain:

Pain and stiffness in the neck, back, or lower back could be related to musculoskeletal issues, such as muscle strains, ligament sprains, or degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis or herniated discs.


Burning pain that spreads to the arms, buttocks, or down into the legs is often associated with sciatica. This condition occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down to the back of each leg, is irritated or compressed.

Numbness, Cramping, or Weakness:

These symptoms in the arms, hands, or legs may be indicative of nerve compression or damage. Conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or peripheral neuropathy could be contributing factors.

Loss of Sensation in the Feet:

Loss of sensation in the feet might be associated with nerve damage, peripheral neuropathy, or circulatory issues.

Trouble with Hand Coordination:

Difficulty with hand coordination may suggest issues with the cervical spine (neck) or nerve pathways affecting the upper extremities.

Foot Drop:

Weakness in a foot causing a limp (foot drop) may be a sign of nerve compression or muscle weakness, often related to conditions affecting the lumbar spine or nerves that control leg muscles.

Loss of sexual ability:

This symptom is less specific and can be associated with a variety of conditions, including neurological issues, hormonal imbalances, or psychological factors. It is essential to consider a broader range of medical and lifestyle factors.

How is spinal cord compression diagnosed?

Medical History: The doctor will inquire about your symptoms, their duration, and any relevant medical history.

Physical Examination: A thorough examination focusing on neurological signs and symptoms helps identify potential issues.

Imaging Tests:

MRI: Provides detailed images of the spine, helping identify compression and its location.

CT scan: A CT scan can reveal bone abnormalities and is sometimes used in conjunction with an MRI.

Electrotherapy: Electrotherapy employs electrical stimulation for therapeutic benefits and is widely used in medicine for its non-invasive approach. Key modalities include interferential therapy , transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation , ultrasound therapy, and electrical muscle stimulation . These techniques are acclaimed for effectively treating various conditions due to their proven efficacy and minimal invasiveness.

 X-rays: Doctors may use X-rays to check the spine’s structure and rule out other issues. In a myelogram, they inject dye into the spine and take X-rays or CT scans to see the spinal cord and nerves more clearly.

Blood tests are sometimes conducted to rule out other potential causes of symptoms.

Neurological Examination: Assessing reflexes, muscle strength, and sensory function helps determine the extent of spinal cord involvement.

Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and diagnosis.

How is spinal cord compression treated?

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs :

NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, are commonly used to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation associated with spinal cord compression.

Steroid Injections:

Steroid injections may be administered to reduce swelling and inflammation around the spinal cord. In acute cases, high-dose steroids can be employed to protect nerve cells temporarily until more definitive treatment can be implemented.

Radiation Therapy:

Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, is a medical treatment that uses high doses of radiation to target, kill, or damage cancer cells. It is a common method in cancer treatment to shrink tumors, halt their growth, or eliminate cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be delivered externally or internally, and the goal is to maximize damage to cancer cells while minimizing harm to surrounding healthy tissues.

Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in managing spinal cord compression. It involves exercises aimed at strengthening the muscles in the back, abdomen, and legs. Patients may also learn proper techniques for activities to prevent further injury. Braces or cervical collars may be recommended to provide additional support.

Surgical Treatments:

Surgical interventions may be necessary for severe cases of spinal cord compression. Procedures may include:
Removal of bone spurs.

Widening the space between vertebrae.

Fusion of vertebrae to stabilize the spine. Other interventions are needed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or repair fractured vertebrae.

For expert care, consider consulting Dr. Shrikant Dalal, a spine doctor in Pune.

Alternative Therapies:

Acupuncture: Some individuals find relief through acupuncture, where thin needles are inserted into specific points on the body to alleviate pain and promote healing.

Chiropractic Care: Chiropractors may use spinal adjustments and manipulations to improve spinal alignment and reduce compression.


Get specialized care for spinal cord issues at the Orthos Centre with Dr. Shrikant Dalal, a renowned spine doctor in Pune. If you experience pain or numbness due to problems like herniated discs or tumors, our team considers your medical history and uses imaging for a thorough diagnosis. We offer different treatments, including medications and spine surgery for severe cases. Early detection is crucial, so consult our healthcare professionals at the Spine Centre in Pune for personalized care.