Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy refers to a change in neurological function when inflammation or damage effects a nerve root.

Radiculopathy Symptoms

Radiculopathy can result in neurological deficits, which include numbness, slowed reflexes and weakness. These symptoms may radiate outwards from the source and into the arms, legs, hands and feet. Paresthesia, the pins-and-needles feeling that occompanies numbness, may also radiate down into the arms and legs and can range from achy to shocking or burning.

The two most common causes of radiculopathy include:

  • Foraminal stenosis: This occurs when the bony opening where a nerve root exits the spinal canal starts to narrow. The opening, known as the Foramin, can impinge nerve roots as it narrows. Changes in the bone related to osteoarthritis and/or degenerative disc disease can cause bone spurs, thickening ligaments, or bulging discs that push against the nerve in the foramen. Foraminal stenosis is the most common cause of radiculopathy.
  • Herniated discs: If the material of a vertebral disc pushing out and inflames or impinges the spinal nerve, it can cause radiculopathy. A herniated disc more likely occurs from an injury or strenuous activity, which explains why it appears more prevalently in the younger population.

Cervical radiculopathy (radiculopathy in the neck) is a rare condition that occurs slightly more often in men than women. This is more likely to occur in older people due to spinal degeneration, with some estimates putting the highest risk for ages 50 to 54. When cervical radiculopathy occurs in younger people, This is more likely due to disc herniation or injury.

Radiculopathy Treatment

There is a wide range of treatment options available for radiculopathy. The type of treatment will mainly depend on the underlying cause of the patient’s symptoms as well as the severity.

Some surgeries go through a small incision to remove the spinal disc (which may be herniated or damaged) and then fuses that level of the spine to restore its normal height. This gives the spinal nerves enough room to ensure the stability of the spine. 

Instead of doing a fusion, some procedures replace the problematic disc with an artificial one. The potential benefits of this procedure include maintaining the mobility of the spine instead of fusing two vertebrae together.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists diagnose and treat patients with medical problems or injuries that limit their ability to take part in their daily lives. Patients will usually see a physical therapist after a referral by their primary physician. Physical therapists work with patients who have experienced an injury or disease that has affected their movement and range of motion.

At Nextgen Pain & Injury Clinic, our team of licensed physical therapists and rehabilitation experts will focus on your total health and wellness. Regardless of the cause or source of your pain, we will develop a treatment plan with your unique issues in mind.

Our treatment philosophy emphasizes evidence-based manual and therapeutic exercise techniques that are tailored toward efficiently returning patients, athletes, and employees to their pre-injury status. We treat orthopedic and sports injuries, provide spinal rehabilitation, post-surgical rehabilitation, and industrial rehabilitation. Personalized physical therapy is used to treat a variety of conditions.

  • Chronic and acute medical problems
  • Knee pain
  • Back pain
  • Leg Pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Chronic medical problems
  • Neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries

Our mission is to help patients to return to work, improve their quality of life, reduce dependence on medication and healthcare providers, and avoid persistent injuries.

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