Within the body, several sensitive nerves branch away from the spinal column through foraminal canals before travelling to peripheral regions of the body. These nerves relay sensory information to and from the central nervous system and enable us to interact with the world around us. Sometimes, however, nerves can begin to operate ineffectively or improperly relay information because they are being compressed and damaged as they exit the spine. The medical term for this painful condition is known as “radiculopathy.”
When radiculopathy is experienced, one or more nerves becomes diseased or aggravated as the result of abnormal pressure, which generally develops in or near the foraminal canals. Nerves can become irritated or pinched in any section of the spine, but radiculopathy is most frequently seen in the lumbar (lower back) and cervical (neck) regions of the back. These two regions are most susceptible to injury because the lower back bears much of the upper body’s weight and because the upper spine is sensitive and almost constantly in motion. Radiculopathy can usually be treated through a combination of conservative methods, although surgery may be recommended in extreme cases.
There is a diverse array of causes for radiculopathy, usually discovered in conjunction with an injury or other spinal condition. Some of the most common factors that may contribute to nerve compression include:
All of these elements may also narrow the foraminal canals, leading to restricted nerves and debilitating symptoms. To care for your spine and the nerves that surround it, avoid activities that overly strain the backbone and seek prompt, professional medical attention if an issue is suspected. During a consultation with Dr. T and Microspine team, we can help you identify risk factors and the best preventative measures for your unique lifestyle and daily routine. Schedule a meeting today if you are concerned about radiculopathy or any other problematic spinal condition.
Symptoms of this condition are often shared with the other, underlying issues causing the radiculopathy to occur in the first place. Contact Microspine for a radiculopathy evaluation if you notice any of the following:
Because any of the nerves leaving the spinal canal may suffer from radiculopathy, symptoms vary widely depending on the location of the affected region. If you are unsure where your pain is stemming from, we offer advanced pain-mapping procedures to pinpoint the precise site of your hurting nerve.
If you or a loved one encounter incontinence of the bladder or bowels in tandem with back pain, call 911 immediately. These symptoms are indicators of a life-threatening ailment known as “cauda equina syndrome”.
The pain of a pinched nerve can rapidly affect your quality of life and prevent you from fully participating in the activities you love. However, at Microspine, Dr. T regularly helps patients obtain optimal healing from radiculopathy and related problems. From diagnosis to treatment, we are committed to providing personalized attention and innovative treatments that exceed your expectations.
Taking the first step toward relief is as simple as scheduling a consultation at our center. During this appointment, Dr. T will carefully and compassionately evaluate your medical history, physical state and symptoms. To confirm a diagnosis of radiculopathy, imaging tests like a C.T. scan, MRI or X-ray may be requested, as well as a pain-mapping procedure. Once the location and severity of your compressed nerve has been ascertained, we will work with you to design a treatment plan that meets your unique needs and goals.
Whenever possible, we encourage patients to consider conservative, non-invasive treatment options before resorting to surgical intervention. Some of the non-surgical methods of care commonly implemented to treat radiculopathy include:
Typically, radiculopathy will clear up when conservative treatment methods are dedicatedly employed. In severe cases, however, minimally invasive surgery may be needed to obtain full pain relief. Dr. T, our spine surgeon can oftentimes treat radiculopathy with advanced Microspine & True minimally invasive techniques.
Because we offer some of the most state-of-the-art surgical options available, patients realize many benefits when compared to traditional open surgery. Some of these benefits include:
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