2 October, 2018 Physician Victoria Tan

Spinal Cord & Related Disorders

Spianal Cord Impairment

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

TCM Physician

Double Degree (1st Class Hon): Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences & Bachelor of Medicine (Chinese Medicine), Nanyang Technological University and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine

Physician Victoria Tan was a scholarship recipient of Ngee Ann Kongsi Tertiary Scholarship and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Foreign Students Scholarship in her undergraduate days, and the Valedictorian of her batch in NTU.

Currently a recipient of the graduate scholarship by the Academy of Chinese Medicine, Singapore, she is undertaking her graduate studies in Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology in NUS.

Physician Tan co-authored with A*STAR and is a co-investigator in East-West Medicine clinical research in public hospitals. One of the youngest TCM Instructor with the People’s Association, Victoria is also seen sharing TCM knowledge and professional advice through various media.

Her amiable personality and professionalism have won her patients’ trust in her craft.

Physician Tan’s expertise: Internal Disorders, Pain & Injury Management, Fertility Planning, Facial, Skin and Eye Disorders, Endocrine Conditions and Paediatric Tuina.


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