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Effective Treatment for Spinal Tumor

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Spinal Tumor

A spinal tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue that forms within or near the spinal cord and/or column.

Tumors in the spinal column can cause the bone to weaken or expand. This can result in back pain, spinal fractures, spinal instability, and compression of the nerves.

Without immediate treatment, spinal tumors may cause neurological problems and paralysis and can be life-threatening. Spinal tumor therapy is recommended to mitigate the risk of complications.

Symptoms of Spinal Tumor

As a tumor grows, it can damage the nerve roots, blood vessels, spinal cord cells, vertebrae of the spine, and the meninges. Individuals with spinal tumors may experience the following symptoms:

  • Back pain that radiates to the hips, legs, feet, or arms

  • Difficulty walking

  • Loss of bowel or bladder function

  • Loss of sensation in the arms or legs

  • Mild to severe muscle contractions, twitches, or spasms

  • Pain at the site of the tumor

  • Severe back pain that worsens at night

Spinal tumor symptoms can differ based on the tumor’s location and whether it is cancerous.

Diagnosing a Spinal Tumor

Getting an accurate diagnosis for a spinal tumor is critical for determining an effective treatment plan. This process typically involves a careful review of the patient’s medical history, a physical exam, and medical imaging tests including CT, MRI, and PET scans.

If a spinal tumor is detected via imaging, a biopsy may be necessary for verification and to get more information about the tumor.

Traditional Treatments

Spinal Tumor Treatments

The following treatments are usually recommended for spinal tumors:

  • Medications – Physicians may prescribe nerve pain medications, opioids, NSAIDs chemotherapy drugs, and immunotherapy drugs to manage symptoms and provide relief from spinal tumor pain.

  • External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) - A specialized machine is used to send a beam of radiation into the body to target and destroy the tumor cells.

  • Surgery – Surgery is required to shrink or completely remove the tumor, preserve neurological function, and maintain spinal stability. Thoracic laminectomy, which involves removing the back part of a thoracic vertebra, is one of the most common surgical options for a spinal tumor.

With that said, there is no guarantee that these traditional treatment options will bring positive results. Spinal tumor surgery on adults has even been associated with major complications.

Here's a great article from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on how physical therapy can help patients with Spinal Tumors. Read it by Clicking Here.


We've got lots more great info on our BLOG. Find out how to heal your pain by Clicking Here.

Superior Physical Therapy

Superior Physical Therapy delivers safe and long-term relief by understanding the primary source of pain. We offer the following treatment options:

  • Full-body Movement Assessment

    The most important element of healing is identifying the cause. The cause is a movement disorder somewhere else in the body that is creating more stress in the injured area than the tissue can handle. A full body movement assessment is the most important aspect in finding the true cause. This involves assessing how mobile and stable the areas above and below the injured tissues are.  Once the dysfunctional areas are identified the physical therapist can then prescribe home treatments to fix the problem areas.

  • Hands on Therapy with Movement

    In order to improve motion in the dysfunctional areas that are causing the increased stress on the painful injured tissues the most effect way to make a change in the body is to have a physical therapist use their hands to facilitate the proper motion while you are moving at the same time. This helps improve the path the body takes in order to reduce stress and tenson on the injured area. 

  • Prescriptive Home Exercise Program

    The Superior Method aims to educate patients on how the body moves to safely ease pain and restore function.

    With our smartphone app called Movement RX, we empower patients with the knowledge and tools needed to attain long-term physical freedom. All of the instructions provided by your physician will also be video-recorded and sent directly to your email or mobile device.

  • Applied Functional Science

    This principles-based method is designed to improve how the mind, body, and spirit work together to facilitate complete healing. All Superior Physical Therapy providers are Fellows of Applied Functional Science through the Gray Institute. This organization is led by the reputable physical therapist, Dr. Gary Gray.

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  • Deep Muscle Stimulation

    Mechanical vibrations that penetrate deep into the muscle tissue enable tissue regeneration and improve the lactic cycle, which is one of the most common causes of pain. The procedure also helps boost circulation and lymphatic flow to alleviate pain.

  • McKenzie Therapy

    The McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) is a distinguished and internationally researched method of diagnosis and treatment for spinal and extremity musculoskeletal conditions. Created by New Zealand Physiotherapist Robin McKenzie, this system has been used globally for over 60 years.

    MDT-certified clinicians assess and treat all types of musculoskeletal disorders including complications in the spine, muscles, tendons, and extremity joints.

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    Book Your No Risk, No Obligation Consultation Today

    Treatment will vary depending on the type and size of tumor.

    To learn how you can get lasting relief from pain, book your complementary path forward call with specialist, Dr. Andrew Gorecki. On this call you will be asked some basic questions as well as provided more information about how to treat your pain. Don’t delay, pick up the phone and call 231.944.6541 or request a consultation today before spots fill up.

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    Office Hours: 
    7am - 7pm Monday to Friday
    Superior Physical Therapy (West) 
    3899 West Front St., 
    Traverse City, MI 49684
    Superior Physical Therapy & Spine Center (Central) 
    722 Munson Ave, Traverse City, MI 49686
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