What is radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy is a condition that results from a compressed nerve in the spine. This compression can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness along the course of the nerve. While radiculopathy can occur in any part of the spine, it is commonly found in the lower back (lumbar radiculopathy) and in the neck (cervical radiculopathy). Here at Align 33 Chiropractic we offer treatments to help reduce the pain caused from this condition.
What are the causes of radiculopathy?
As the nerves exit the spine they can become compressed, this is what happens to those suffering from radiculopathy. The nerve can become compressed by a disc herniation, a bone spur (osteophytes) from osteoarthritis, or from the thickening of surrounding ligaments. Tumors or infections can also cause mechanical compression, because tumors and infections reduce the amount of space in the spinal canal and it often causes the exiting nerve to compress. Scoliosis can also cause the nerves on one side of the spine to become compressed by the abnormal curve of the spine. Radiculopathy can also result from diabetes (which can decrease the normal blood flow to the spinal nerves) and inflammation from trauma or degeneration which irritates and then compresses the nerves.
How do I know if I am suffering from radiculopathy?
The symptoms of radiculopathy are dependent on the nerves that are affected. The nerves exiting from the neck will control the muscles of the neck and arms and therefore will cause pain to those areas. However the nerves from the middle portion of the back control the muscles of the chest and abdomen and the nerves from the lower back control the muscles of the buttocks and legs and will distribute pain accordingly. If you are experiencing numbness, and tingling in the arms or legs we recommend seeing one of our professionals here at Align 33 Chiropractic as soon as possible to receive treatment.
For those suffering from this condition it is common to experience localized neck or back pain as well. Some sufferers also develop a hypersensitivity to light touch that feels painful in the affected area. Less commonly, patients can develop weakness in the muscles controlled by the affected nerves.
What treatment is best for radiculopathy?
This condition can be treated with minimally invasive treatments such as physical therapy and chiropractic treatment. We recommend visiting our Northridge California therapy center to determine the best treatment for you needs. Our professional team here at Align 33 Chiropractic will help ensure that your needs are put first when prescribing the most effective treatment for you.