Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Taking the following steps may help reduce the effects of syringomyelia on your daily living.

Avoid activities that may make symptoms worse

If you've been diagnosed with syringomyelia, avoid any activity that involves heavy lifting, straining or putting excessive force on your spine.

Consider physical therapy

If syringomyelia causes ongoing neurological problems that decrease your mobility and activity, such as muscle weakness, pain, fatigue or stiffness, a physical therapist may be able to create an exercise program for you that can help reduce these symptoms.

Talk to your doctor about physical therapists in your area who have expertise in neurological conditions.

Manage chronic pain

Chronic pain can be a problem with syringomyelia. If you're experiencing chronic pain, talk to your doctor about treatment options. Many medical centers have doctors who specialize in pain management.

Often, the most appropriate approach for treatment of chronic pain due to syringomyelia is to have a health care team that includes your neurosurgeon, neurologist, a rehabilitation specialist and a pain management physician who can work together to create an appropriate plan for your situation.

Coping and support

Living with syringomyelia and its complications can be challenging. You may feel as if syringomyelia affects every aspect of your life and would love to not think about it for a day, especially if you have constant reminders, such as chronic pain or nerve issues.

Having someone to talk with or lean on can be invaluable. Whether it's a trusted friend, counselor or therapist, you may find encouragement and comfort in a good listener.

Another source of support and information may be a syringomyelia support group. Your doctor may be able to recommend a local group, or you can find groups online. Support groups provide a forum for sharing experiences and can be good sources of information, offering useful or helpful tips for people with syringomyelia.

Nov. 15, 2016
References
  1. Batzdorf U. Syringomyelia. In: Textbook of the Cervical Spine. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 17, 2016.
  2. Heiss J, et al. Management of Chiari malformations and syringomyelia. In: Schmidek and Sweet's Operative Neurosurgical Techniques. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 17, 2016.
  3. Ferri FF. Syringomyelia. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 17, 2016.
  4. Syringomyelia fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/syringomyelia/detail_syringomyelia.htm. Accessed Oct. 17, 2016.
  5. Eisen A. Disorders affecting the spinal cord. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 17, 2016.
  6. Syringomyelia. National Organization for Rare Disorders. https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/syringomyelia/. Accessed Oct. 17, 2016.
  7. Support & resources: Find support. American Syringomyelia and Chiari Alliance Project. http://asap.org/index.php/resources/find-support/. Accessed Oct. 18, 2016.