2 October, 2018 Physician Victoria Tan

Spinal Cord & Related Disorders

The spinal cord may look like a single piece, but it consists of a column of nerves protected by the myelin sheath and secured by 31 vertebrae extending down the length of the spine. Medical pathology of the spinal cord and its related dysfunctions can be classified into 4 sections and 1 sub-part: Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Sacral and Coccygeal region. Implications include nervous, musculoskeletal, sympathetic and internal conditions.

Cervical impairments can lead to:

  • Loss of function or sensation in the arms and legs
  • Compromised cognitive abilities such as memory loss
  • Compromised upper body conditions such as a headache, blurred vision, tinnitus, thyroid, and calcification of the spinal process etc.

Thoracic impairments can lead to an array of ailments including:

  • Breathing and cardiac complications such as bronchitis, palpitations, asthma, high blood pressure, bronchitis
  • Digestive system dysfunctions such as acid reflux, flatulence, bad breath
  • Anaemia
  • Limb coldness
  • Blood sugar abnormality
  • Calf numbness

Lumbar and Sacral impairments can lead to:

  • Bowel and bladder control weakness
  • Chronic back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Malnourishment
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • Infertility etc.

Not all patients experience all of the above. Yet not all of these conditions are a definitive indication of a spinal cord impairment. A physician will be able to assess the myriad of symptoms and identify the root problem.

The higher up the injury in the vertebral column, the more severe the symptom. The severity of the condition also depends on the extent of the impairment, and most spinal cord injuries are irreversible. However, TCM acupuncture and medication are proven ways to improve the functionality of the remaining spinal nerves and stimulate nerve cell regeneration. A rehabilitation program should be initiated as soon as possible.

Article by Physician Victoria Tan


Note: Information provided is not a substitute for a physician or any form of medical care. Individual symptoms differ due to different body constitutions and diagnosis. One should consult a licensed TCM practitioner for accurate diagnosis and treatment.



About the Author

Physician Victoria Tan Physician Victoria Tan is a registered TCM practitioner in PULSE. She graduated with a First-Class Honours in B.Sc. in Biomedical Science and Bachelor’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Nanyang Technological University and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.

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