Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

My grandmother had a compression in her neck that her doctor said was myelopathy. Why did it affect both her hands and her legs at the same time?

Answer:

The spine is where the nerves go down throughout your body. At each disc level in the spine, some nerves branch out to reach different parts of the body. The higher up the nerves branch off, the higher part of the body they control. The neck is like a hub, where most of the nerves have to pass through on their way down. If the neck is compressed and is pressing on the nerves, then all the nerves running through are affected, including the ones for the arms and the legs. For this reason, many parts of the body, including urinating can be affected by this one problem. Yasutsuga Yukawa, MD, et al. "Ten Second Step Test" as a New Quantifiable Parameter of Cervical Myelopathy. In Spine. January 2009. Vol. 34. Pp. 82 to 86.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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