Radiculopathy (Cervical, Thoracic, and Lumbar)


Radiculopathy is caused by pinched nerve roots in the spine. There are three types of radiculopathy: thoracic, cervical, and lumbar- each representing their respective anatomical regions. Radiculopathy may occur at any level along the spine. Radiculopathy is typically caused by deterioration or injury to the surrounding tendons, bones, cartilage, or muscle; a herniated disc is the most common cause of radiculopathy. The deterioration or injury causes the affected area to move out of position and put pressure on the nerve roots. Having said that, it is prudent to mention that there are many other causes to radiculopathy as well since anything that has the potential to put pressure on surrounding nerves (i.e. obesity, poor posture, osteoarthritis etc.) can cause radiculopathy. Medical conditions such as diabetes may increase the risk of developing radiculopathy. When radiculopathy occurs, inflammation is soon followed by a feeling of numbness, weakness or pain.

Radiculopathy can be treated in a number of different ways depending on its severity and location. Certain medications including anti-inflammatories, analgesics, muscle relaxants, and opioids may help to alleviate the associated symptoms. Home care in the form of splints and braces, stretching and strengthening exercises, adequate rest, or a weight loss program may be recommended by the health care professional to manage radiculopathy.  The majority of radiculopathy patients respond well to conservative treatment, and symptoms often improve within six weeks to three months. If after a couple of months of treatment the symptoms have not subsided, surgery may be necessary to take pressure off of the affected nerve. Epidural steroid injections may also help to ease symptoms.

It is imperative to remember that some causes of radiculopathy are unavoidable, while others are.  Maintaining a reasonable weight, good muscle conditioning, and avoiding excessive strain on the neck and back can reduce the chances of developing radiculopathy. Anyone affected by radiculopathy should speak with their health care professional in order to develop a concise diagnosis and a specific treatment plan that works best for their unique situation.

Sources:

http://www.healthline.com/health/radiculopathy

http://www.medicinenet.com/radiculopathy/page3.htm

http://backandneck.about.com/od/conditions/f/radiculopathy.htm

We offer ultrasound guided diagnostic injections with local anaesthetic, followed by therapeutic injections with cortisone or dextrose (prolotherapy), facet joint injections, medial branch nerve blocks, nerve blocks with sclerosing agent, epidural injections, Botulinum toxin injections, chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, active exercises, medication, psychotherapy, biofeedback, thoracic and/or lumbar supports, TENS/MET devices, and orthotics for those suffering from radiculopathy of the back and spine.

 

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