A spinal tumor is a growth developing within the spinal canal – or – within the bones of the spine. A spinal tumor may be cancerous or noncancerous. Tumors affecting the bones of the spine – the vertebrae – are known as vertebral tumors. Tumors forming within the spinal cord itself are called spinal cord tumors.
Spinal tumors can develop along the three specific areas of the spine:
- Cervical Spine – the first 7 vertebrae comprising the neck – beginning at the base of the skull
- Thoracic Spine – the next 12 vertebrae after C7 – comprising the mid-back region
- Lumbar Spine – the final 5 vertebrae – comprising the lower back region
The severity, progression, and symptoms of these spinal tumors vary greatly. Even benign tumor have significant, adverse symptoms – depending on size and location of the tumor. Spinal tumors can develop inside or along the spinal cord.
- On the vertebra bones
- In the spinal canal
- Within the cerebrospinal fluid
- Outside of the dura – the membrane containing the spinal cord nerves – epidural tumors
- Inside of the dura – intradural tumors
Intradural Tumors are the most common type of spinal tumors causing neurological abnormalities slowly progressing over months to years.
There are two main types of tumors adversely affecting the health of the spinal cord.
- Intramedullary Tumors
Intramedullary tumors begin in the cells within the spinal cord itself, such as astrocytomas or ependymomas.
- Extramedullary Tumors
Extramedullary tumors develop within the supporting network of cells around the spinal cord. Although extramedullary tumors don’t begin within the spinal cord itself – these types of tumors may affect spinal cord function by causing spinal cord compression and other problems. Examples of extramedullary tumors adversely affecting the spinal cord include:
Tumors from other parts of the body can spread – metastasize – to the vertebrae. These tumors can adversely affect the supporting network around the spinal cord. In rare cases, the spinal cord function is affected by these tumors. Spinal tumors or growths of any kind can lead to pain, neurological problems, and sometimes paralysis. Whether cancerous or not, a spinal tumor can be life-threatening and cause permanent disability.
In-Depth Diagnosis of Spinal Tumors
- Complete Medical History – including medications and lifestyle activities
- An analysis of symptomology through patient history and physical examination
- X-ray, CT scan, or MRI scan
Physical Therapy Treatment
Beyond surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or prescription medications, spinal tumors are effectively treated through Expert Physical Therapy at Spine and Sports Medicine. Because of the major inflammation occurring within the spinal cord, these tumors are extremely painful. Physical therapy is a crucial treatment approach to cope with the pain and prevent further nerve damage from developing. Physical therapy exercises must be tailored to each patient’s individualized needs to less the pain and control symptoms from spinal tumors.
Alternative Treatment of Spinal Tumors – Acupuncture Therapy
An alternative treatment to help relieve some of the symptoms of spinal tumors is acupuncture at Spine and Sports medicine. Acupuncture relieves the nausea and vomiting accompanying spinal tumors.
Acupuncture needles are:
- Singe Use
There is no risk of contamination between patients using acupuncture to treat pain caused by spinal tumors.
According to the World Health Organization and the National Institutes for Health, acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for chronic an acute pain and symptoms caused by spinal tumors.
Medical Insurance Coverage for Spinal Tumor Diagnosis and Treatment
At Spine and Sports Medicine, there is no requirement for you to obtain an outside primary physician referral to have the cost of your diagnosis and treatment covered by your insurance plan. Most insurance plans cover the cost of diagnosing and treating pain caused by a spinal tumor condition. Our insurance experts will help you to determine the extent of your coverage and assist in processing your claims.
Discover Multidisciplinary Therapeutic Treatment in One Convenient Midtown Manhattan Location
Remember – delaying treatment will only worsen your condition. Discover pain relief benefits provided by a multidisciplinary therapeutic practice in one convenient Midtown Manhattan location – at Madison Avenue and 40th Street.
If you think you may be suffering from a spinal tumor and have been delaying seeking treatment for your pain and discomfort, reach out to the Multidisciplinary Team at Spine and Sports Medicine by clicking below or calling 212.986.3888.