Category: Back Pain, Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: May 15, 2014
Radiculopathy – What is it?
Radiculopathy is defined as a compressed nerve in the spine. There are 3 types of radiculopathy, each relating to a different region of the spine:
• Lumbar (lower region of the spine)
• Thoracic (mid region of the spine)
• Cervical (upper region of the spine)
Causes & Risks
Radiculopathy can be caused by a number of things, including:
- Physical trauma
- Compressed nerve in the spine
- Collapsed spinal disc
- Herniated disc
- Inflammation or interference from surrounding muscle or tissue in the spine.
When a spinal nerve is compressed it can lead to pain, numbness, and muscle weakness. If not corrected, the nerve damage can become permanent. Treatment for this condition depends on the region of the spine affected and the underlying cause of the condition.
Certain people are at greater risk for radiculopathy than others. If you have any of the following conditions, your risk level may be higher than normal:
- Pregnant women
The primary symptoms of radiculopathy are pain, numbness, tingling or weakness that typically affects the arms or legs. Primary treatment is generally geared at relieving any associated pain through the use of pain medication, injections, physical therapy, and other non-surgical means. These treatments work to relive pain, but their effectiveness may be short lived. If these initial treatments fail to give you long lasting relief surgery may be recommended. Using a minimally invasive procedure, a spine surgeon can go in and “un-pinch” the affected nerve without disrupting any of the surrounding musculature or tendons. If you’re considering the option of surgery for your radiculopathy, contact a skilled spinal surgeon today.