Diagnostic accuracy is poor in demyelinating myelopathies, and therefore a challenge for neurologists in daily practice, mainly because of the multiple underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms involved in each subtype. A systematic diagnostic approach combining data from the clinical setting and presentation with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) lesion patterns, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) findings, and autoantibody markers can help to better distinguish between subtypes. In this review, we describe spinal cord involvement, and summarize clinical findings, MRI and diagnostic characteristics, as well as treatment options and prognostic implications in different demyelinating disorders including: multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disease, and glial fibrillary acidic protein IgG-associated disease. Thorough understanding of individual case etiology is crucial, not only to provide valuable prognostic information on whether the disorder is likely to relapse, but also to make therapeutic decision-making easier and reduce treatment failures which may lead to new relapses and long-term disability. Identifying patients with monophasic disease who may only require acute management, symptomatic treatment, and subsequent rehabilitation, rather than immunosuppression, is also important.