Covid-19 has impacted everyone in so many ways. There is a possible connection between Covid-19 and a rare spinal disorder known as transverse myelitis. There have been three known cases of acute transverse myelitis brought on from covid-19. Although these case reports are not enough to prove that covid is the cause for transverse myelitis, researchers are delving into the possibility of a connection between the virus and this spinal condition.
Transverse myelitis causes inflammation of the spinal cord. It can be caused by
Myelin is the layer that forms around nerve cell axons or the wiring of the nervous system and insulates them. It consists of protein, fatty substances, and acts as a defensive sheath that allows electrical impulses to transmit properly. The insulation properties are essential for:
Without the insulation, the electrical impulses traveling through the spinal cord dissipate or weaken. The messages don’t reach the nerves and can lead to:
The most common disorder that destroys the myelin known as demyelination is multiple sclerosis. Transverse myelitis can affect individuals of:
There are treatments, but there is no cure. Treatments consist of corticosteroids and other therapies to suppress the immune system. However, their focus is on preventing and minimizing permanent neurological damage.
Symptoms of transverse myelitis can include:
Depending on the segment of the spine where the damage is occurring will determine which parts of the body are affected. Diagnosis begins with a thorough medical evaluation. A doctor will utilize various methods. A thorough neurological exam will be performed to rule out any issues that require emergency intervention. If a doctor suspects transverse myelitis they will order diagnostic tests like:
As previously stated, there is no cure for transverse myelitis, and treatment focuses on managing complications. Treatments can include:
The hard facts are that while most people with transverse myelitis have at least a partial recovery, for some, however, recovery can continue for up to two years and longer. A combination of medications, chiropractic, and physical therapy can help improve physical symptoms.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is working to understand the process, as to how the immune system destroys or attacks myelin. Hopefully, this will lead to answers, improved treatment, and prevention. It is well-documented that Multiple sclerosis, bacterial infections, and other viruses can cause transverse myelitis, research must continue to see if there is a connection to covid-19.
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Chakraborty, Uddalak et al. “COVID-19-associated acute transverse myelitis: a rare entity.” BMJ case reports vol. 13,8 e238668. 25 Aug. 2020, doi:10.1136/bcr-2020-238668
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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
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Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.
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