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    Includes Expert Content
    CSM (myelopathy) and Yoga
    An_246767 posted:
    I had the surgery approx. 5 months ago and am fully recovered (well except for the remaining myelopathy symptoms.) I get vertigo, nausea, chills, hand & feet spasms, poor balance, anxiety etc...
    I began Yoga about a month ago for a natural method to manage my nervous symptoms as my symptoms began to get worse. I had been told that the meds to treat Vertigo create worse side effects out-weighting any benefits. I was amazed with the results after a month. my neck ROM on the left side had been still only 75% recovered and I still had some nerve damage remaining in my right bicept. I now have practically full ROM back and the remaining bicept pain is gone. Yoga is keeping my symptoms better under control - I'm not as anxious all the time and my hand/feet spasm which was occuring numerous times daily has become quite infrequent as well as other benefits.
    My questions are: 1. Due to my fusion (which as I understand still has another 7 months to continue to heal) what types of excerises should I avoid other than the obvious impact types? In Yoga they have some positions (like headstands) that I have not attempted.
    2. As I stated above my balance is a problem which is a challege in Yoga but I also found that I'm very flexible. Is the super flexability a result of having abnormal reflexes (pretty much all my reflexes were affected and I have definate Hoffman's)? I can't find much information about myelopathy and what there is of it seems to be geared to older and infirm people. I an 48 (but look 10+ years younger) and healthy, not over weight, and in good shape. Where can I get imformation about myelopathy to better manage my symptoms?
    Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
    Have you tried these sites. They are reputable.
    LindaElle replied to Rich Weil, MEd, CDE's response:
    Thank you for responding to my question. Yes I had researched those sites previously. While quite imformative they primarily discuss CSM symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments options.
    Discussions on how to best manage the remaining chronic myelopathy symptoms (after surgery) in order to minimize symptoms and keep an active lifestyle are sorely missing. In particular the aafp site seems to emphase that CSM is a condition that effects people age 55 and older. Forgeting about those unfortunate people like myself that are affected at a younger age.
    Rich Weil, MEd, CDE replied to LindaElle's response:
    Ok, understood. I'm thinking that you should ask your doctor for a referral to a physical therapist, and maybe one who specializes in balance issues. With something like this, it's important for the person who will prescribe exercise for you is able to see you in person to evaluate how you move, degree of impairment, etc. I'd be cautious of advice from anyone online who is unable to evaluate you personally. When you go to a PT you know you're getting safe exercises. I suggest you do that. Good luck.
    LindaElle replied to Rich Weil, MEd, CDE's response:
    Thank you again for responding to my question. After the surgery and month of (for 24 hr/day) wearing a neck brace I was able to start PT. Luckily I already knew a great PT who just happened to have an interest in neck fusions. I saw him for about two months until my insurance co would no longer approve any more visits. He had said no impact exercise and said I was doing amazing considering what I had been through.
    It's amazing with the amount of information on the internet the lack of information for people with myelopathy on managing systems holistically (exercise, foods etc...)
    LindaElle replied to LindaElle's response:
    Just wanted to add after reviewing your reply again that I have no obvious physical impairment including a normal gait. In fact I am quite healthy (now) and physically fit outside of my still healing neck fusion (takes a year to complete the fusion - I go to the surgeons every 3/mos for an xray & eval) and my chronic neurological symptoms (previously described) caused by the damage to my spinal cord.
    Lessaca replied to LindaElle's response:
    @LindaElle. In 2003 I had surgery to cure spinal stenosis from C-2-C-6 I am fused with a titanium plate. It took over a year to get back to my health and at that time I was 45. My continued problem is numbness in my left foot and I troubled with it for years. In 2008 I found yoga and have been practicing ever since, now I practice 4x a week. I have found that my balance is AMAZING now and the numbness is still there but it does not pain me nor cause me any problems. I do NOT do head stands, nor wheel or anything that will endanger my neck and would strongly suggest the same to you. I do mostly Hatha yoga but have started Ashtanga yoga which is more physical. Give yourself time to heal but continue your yoga and you will be back to your old self or even better since you have found the yoga practice. I am 56 years old now and in better physical shape than I was at my surgery.

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