Radiculopathy is a painful condition which presents when a spinal nerve is compressed, sometimes by a Bulging, Slipped or Herniated disc. The weakened or torn disc pushes outward and places pressure on the nearby spinal nerve. The nerve root becomes inflamed, resulting in numbness, weakness and pain. This condition can also be caused by bone spurs formed around a weakened or collapsed disc, traumatic injury, osteoarthritis, obesity, aging, poor posture and repetitive motion.
Radiculopathy can occur in all three sections of the spine: cervical, lumbar, and thoracic. Cervical Radiculopathy in the top portion of the spine presents with symptoms of painful burning or tingling in the neck, shoulder and arms. However, cervical radiculopathy pain usually affects the lower arm more than the neck. Thoracic Radiculopathy in the mid-back is not a common condition. Its pain is felt in the torso and chest. Lumbar Radiculopathy in the lower back can cause sciatic pain shooting in the legs more frequently than pain in the lower spine.. Lumbar radiculopathy in severe cases can cause sexual dysfunction or incontinence.
The diagnosis of radiculopathy begins with a medical history and physical exam focusing on the extremity that is experiencing pain. Our team may order imaging: an x-ray, an MRI, or a CT scan. In some cases an electromyogram (EMG) may be ordered to study electrical activity in the compressed nerve. Some people with radiculopathy respond well to medications and/or physical therapy. When radiculopathy has not responded to medication or physical therapy in a reasonable period of time, the doctors at Tristate Multi-Specialty Medical Services PC may suggest an Epidural Steroid Treatment or a minimally-invasive Endoscopic Discectomy. Pain from a compressed nerve can be extremely painful and exhausting, affecting your day-to-day life in many ways. You will benefit from an accurate diagnosis and our medical team will provide you with options so that you can get back to your routine, healthy, active lifestyle.