Radiculopathy, also known as a pinched nerve, is a condition that happens when one of your nerve roots gets pinched within your spine. Although the pain is bad enough, you may also have symptoms like weakness or numbness. If you’re suffering from these symptoms and need relief now, reach out to Trung Ha, MD, a double board-certified Interventional Pain Medicine Physician, at Quantum Pain & Sports Medicine in Irving, Texas. Call the office today or request an appointment online at any time to meet with the compassionate pain management physician.
What is radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy is a condition that develops when a nerve root becomes trapped in your spine. It can occur in any part of your spine, including your neck, upper back, and lower back. Radiculopathy can be quite uncomfortable or even painful, and if you suffer from this condition, you might have symptoms severe enough to cause poor quality of life.
What are the symptoms of radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy symptoms can vary depending on the part of your spine that’s affected.
Cervical radiculopathy affects a nerve in your neck. When you have cervical radiculopathy, you can experience sharp pain in your arms and hands. The pain is often worse when you may sudden moves, such as when you sneeze. Other symptoms can include tingling and numbness. Some sufferers also experience weakness; for example, it may be hard to grasp a pencil if you have cervical radiculopathy.
Lumbar radiculopathy affects the sciatic nerve in your lower back, and it’s also called sciatica. If you have lumbar radiculopathy, you typically experience serious pain in the lower back, which often shoots down one leg. You may also experience tingling and numbness in your lower back, buttocks, and upper leg.
Thoracic radiculopathy affects a nerve in the upper part of your back. It’s the rarest type of radiculopathy. If you have thoracic radiculopathy, you may have pain, tingling, and numbness in your upper back that sometimes travels to your chest area as well.
All types of radiculopathy can cause serious symptoms, so if you have any of these problems, it’s important to seek treatment promptly.
What is the treatment for radiculopathy?
Treatment depends on your symptoms and how radiculopathy affects your life. Some treatment options include:
- Medication – reduces inflammation and pain
- Physical therapy – to strengthen the muscles that support your spine and help relieve pressure
- Injections – corticosteroid injections can relieve both pain and inflammation for up to weeks at a time
Sometimes, weight loss can help with radiculopathy if you’re overweight because it may relieve spine stress and allow your nerve to heal.
If non-surgical treatments aren’t successful, your Quantum Pain and Sports Medicine doctor may suggest a minimally invasive surgery to free the nerve and correct any underlying issues.
The Quantum Pain and Sports Medicine team is here to help you understand all your radiculopathy treatment options, so call the office today or book an appointment online.