Syringomyelia can affect the body in a multitude of ways. A cyst, or syrinx, forms on the spinal cord, where it damages tissue and the nervous system. These cysts can create chronic pain or impair a person's ability to feel or sense temperature shifts in their hands, arms, shoulder, or legs. They can also cause facial numbness. As the disorder progresses, it can create disruption in bladder and bowel functions and sexual abilities, and can affect a person's ability to sweat normally. Syrinxes may also affect the brainstem, which may impact a person7apos;s respiratory functions and other vital systems. When this happens, the condition is known as syringobulbia.