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Managing Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is a condition that results from compression of the nerves at the nerve root, the area where the nerves leave the spine. This can be caused by injury or trauma to the spine or degenerative changes that can take place with time, like herniated discs, bone spurs, thickening of spinal ligaments, and stenosis (narrowing of the space within the spine). When something like this happens and the space surrounding the nerve root gets smaller, the nerve will become inflamed and begin to cause symptoms.

 

These symptoms vary depending on the location and severity of the compression. When a nerve in your neck (cervical spine) is compressed, this can result in pain in the neck that radiates down either or both arms, numbness and tingling in the arms/hands, weakness in the arms/hands, or any mixture of these issues. Similarly, if the compressed nerve is in the lower back (lumbar spine) you could experience pain in the back that radiates down the legs, numbness/tingling in the legs/feet, weakness in associated muscles, or a mixture of these things. This type of radiculopathy is often referred to as sciatica, as the sciatic nerves are typically affected.

 

When faced with radicular symptoms, many are at a loss for what they can try to alleviate these issues. Some non-surgical treatment options include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, oral steroids, muscle relaxers, pain medication, activity modifications, physical therapy, and steroid injections.

 

Additionally, there are some things you can do to prevent radiculopathy.

 

Things to start/continue:

 

Things to avoid:

Author
Neuro Team

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