Signs You May Have Radiculopathy

Your spine contains 31 pairs of spinal nerves that connect your brain to the rest of your body. These nerves branch out from your spinal cord, starting in your neck and ending in your lower back. Each pair exits your spine in two places, one on the right and one on the left.

The place where each nerve connects to your spinal cord is called the nerve root or radicular nerve. Nerve roots are protected by spinal vertebrae and discs, but damage, inflammation, and other issues can cause nerve pain that inhibits your life.

Radiculopathy is an injury to a nerve root in your spine that causes pain and other symptoms. The spine is complex, but Aron Rovner, MD, and our team at New York Spine and Sports Surgery are here to help. We specialize in diagnosing and treating spinal pain, so you can get back to enjoying your life.

Radiculopathy often causes burning, radiating pain, but it presents differently in different individuals. It’s time to find out if your symptoms could indicate radiculopathy and what you can do to relieve the pain.

You have radiating pain

The nerves that travel from your spinal cord through your spine connect your arms, legs, and the rest of your body to your brain. When one of these nerves is inflamed, pain can appear in the area that the nerve controls. 

Nerve pain is often described as a “pins and needles” tingling sensation. Depending on the severity of your radiculopathy, pain might burn or radiate down a limb. Sometimes, it can cause numbness or muscle weakness.

The specific nerve or nerves that are affected will change the location of your pain. For example, radiculopathy in your neck can cause nerve pain, tingling, or numbness in your shoulders, arms, and hands. 

Radiculopathy in your lower back is often linked to sciatica. This type of nerve inflammation or compression can cause nerve pain in your buttocks, legs, and feet.

You have a herniated disc or other spinal condition

A herniated disc is one of the most common types of spinal injury, and it’s a common cause of radiculopathy symptoms. Herniated discs develop when the soft material inside a spinal disc leaks out. It can happen as the result of an acute injury or from natural degeneration with age.

Herniated discs often put pressure on nearby nerves, causing nerve pain. Along with a herniated disc, many other spinal conditions can compress nerve roots and trigger radiculopathy. A few other common conditions include bone spurs, spinal stenosis, and age-related spinal degeneration.

Treatment options for radiculopathy

Since radiculopathy is often a symptom of another spinal problem, treating the cause can relieve radiculopathy symptoms. Conservative treatments like activity modification and physical therapy can minimize strain on the spine and reduce inflammation.

Dr. Rovner offers a range of nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for herniated discs, if that’s what’s behind your radiculopathy. Conservative treatments like muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medications can relieve inflammation and nerve root compression that are causing your radiculopathy symptoms. 

In more severe cases, surgery can create more space around the nerve roots and remove damaged portions of vertebrae and discs. Our team always performs comprehensive evaluations of your condition before determining the best treatment options for you.

You don’t have to suffer with radiating nerve pain. Get a diagnosis and treatment for your radiculopathy at New York Spine and Sports Surgery. Call one of our offices in Garden City, New York, or Fair Lawn, New Jersey, or send our team a message online.

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