Myelomalacia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

There are a lot of medical conditions that can lead to chronic back pain. One of these conditions is myelomalacia which is a spinal cord disorder. In this article, we are going to give you more information about this problem and how to treat it. However, before you pick a therapy option you should consult your doctor.

You can also find more information about myelomalacia causes and treatment here. This condition is serious, and it should be treated as such. Whenever you experience back pain for more than two weeks an appointment to the doctor’s office is mandatory.

What is Myelomalacia?

As we previously mentioned, myelomalacia is a spinal cord disorder. This is an abnormal softening of the spinal cord. This is usually caused by an acute injury. The injury causes bleeding of the spinal cord and that makes the tissue soft. However, there are other diseases and types of trauma that can lead to this condition.


One of the most important things you should know is that this disease can be fatal once the bleeding reaches the cervical region. The blood can lead to necrotic tissue. Fractured vertebrae and osteoporosis are other conditions that can lead to bleeding in the spinal cord.

Osteoporosis can be caused by a large number of things including smoking, excessive drinking, and history of bone fractures. Due to osteoporosis, myelomalacia can appear and it can progress into impairment of the lower extremities. Also, it can lead to loss of pain perception and some neurological problems.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The first symptoms of myelomalacia that appear are hypertension, jerking limbs or loss of motor function in extremities. Unfortunately, when it’s not caught early, this condition can lead to severe symptoms like lack of reflexes and the patient could become paralyzed. In the last state, the respiratory system is paralyzed and the patient will die.

The risk of myelomalacia is increased in older people because they are prone to weakened bones. However, this condition can affect anyone because damage to the spinal cord can happen after an injury. This is why it is important to schedule an appointment with the doctor’s office when you experience the first symptoms.

In order to diagnose this health problem, doctors use an MRI which shows the internal structures of the body. Doctors can observe when the bone density is lost and then they can diagnose myelomalacia. X-rays can also be used for a myelography.


If you were diagnosed with this condition, there are some treatments that can help alleviate the pain and stop the disease from progressing. First of all, the doctor is going to refer you to a specialist and you need to undergo surgery. This is not an invasive procedure and it can offer a lot of benefits. However, take into consideration the fact that it is still a serious procedure.

Unfortunately, surgery can only stop the disease from causing more damage to the nerves but it can’t repair the damage that was already done. Surgery is the only option available for stopping the disease. When you undergo surgery the disc or bone that softens is going to be removed and in its place, a bone graft will be inserted.

After surgery, it’s indicated that you remain active but you won’t be able to do a lot of exercises. Also, some patients experience back pain because of the nerve damage. In order to relieve the pain there are some alternative medicine therapies that can help.

One of these therapies is massage for pain relief. This can only be performed by specialists and you need a clearance from your doctor. Also, it is indicated that you do light exercises like Tai Chi or Yoga. Some of these poses can help lower the pain and alleviate stress both physically and mentally. Again, it is important to check with your doctor and see if you are allowed to perform any of these exercises.


These are the most important things you should know about myelomalacia. Remember that this is a serious condition which can be fatal if it is not diagnosed early on. If you had an accident or you have a family history of osteoporosis it is indicated to get tested for this condition. The sooner you receive the diagnose the higher the risk of recovery. If you get clearance from your doctor, try out regular massages and light yoga and Tai Chi sessions.

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