Cervical Myelopathy is caused by deterioration in the spine in the neck leading to compression of the spinal cord and symptoms such as “numb” and “clumsy” hands, loss of coordination, imbalance, bladder and bowel problems, and weakness that can progress to severe paralysis. Symptoms are often mistaken for signs of old age.
There are many different symptoms of Cervical Myelopathy
Pain, particularly in the neck but perhaps shooting down an arm, is a common symptom. Stiffness
Numbness, especially affecting the hands
"Pins and needles" in the hands
Imbalance and difficulties walking
Loss of bladder and bowel control
In CSM, neurological symptoms are often combined with symptoms resulting from the underlying wear and tear arthritis of the neck.
Arthritic symptoms include neck stiffness and pain. At early stages, CSM most commonly affects the hands, causing numbness and clumsiness, and presents with imbalance, which can affect walking.
Furthermore, focal compression of exiting nerves can cause "radicular" symptoms, i.e. numbness and pain running into the arms and associated weakness.
Cervical Myelopathy can occur at any age. Most individuals will be affected at mid to late stages of life.