Radiculopathy is not a single condition, but a range of symptoms that result from a pinched root nerve in your spinal column. If you have unexplained pain and numbness or you’ve been diagnosed with radiculopathy, book an appointment online or by phone with Dr. Nomen Azeem at Florida Spine & Pain Specialists in Riverview and Wesley Chapel, Florida, to learn about your treatment options.
Your spinal cord runs down your spinal canal, protected by your vertebrae. The nerves of the spinal cord branch off and run between the vertebrae to other parts of your body. The area where the nerve splits is called the nerve root; when it’s pinched or damaged, radiculopathy results.
There are three main types of radiculopathy: cervical, lumbar, and thoracic.
A pinched root nerve in your neck results in cervical radiculopathy, which usually causes pain and numbness in your arms and hands.
Also known as sciatica, lumbar radiculopathy occurs in your lower back and causes pain that extends down your leg.
Thoracic radiculopathy occurs in your upper back and is the rarest form of radiculopathy. It causes pain and numbness that wraps around your body.
When the tissues surrounding your vertebrae, or the vertebrae themselves, change in size or shape, they can press on any nearby nerve roots. There are several possible causes.
When the pads of tissue between your vertebrae, called discs, bulge, become herniated, or slip out of place, they can press on nerve roots and cause radiculopathy. Both cervical and lumbar radiculopathy can result from damaged discs.
Areas of extra bone growth, called bone spurs, on your spine, can cause radiculopathy. Trauma and degenerative conditions like arthritis can cause bone spurs.
When your spinal canal narrows, you have spinal stenosis. When the small openings that nerve roots travel through — called foramina — narrow, you have foraminal stenosis. Both of these conditions can cause radiculopathy.
Dr. Azeem tailors your treatment to your individual condition. Each case of radiculopathy is unique, and each patient has an individual set of life circumstances. Some common elements of radiculopathy treatment include:
If you have questions regarding a particular treatment approach or about radiculopathy in general, call or book an appointment online with Dr. Azeem.