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What is Radiculopathy & How Do I Treat It?

Your spine is a series of 33 vertebrae that surround and protect your spinal cord.

Radiculopathy is a condition that occurs when inflammation, injury, or another abnormality compresses a nerve in your spine.

Radiculopathy can cause symptoms that may include:

  • Pain in your neck or back
  • Pain that radiates through your arms or legs
  • Numbness or tingling in your arms or legs
  • Weakness in arms or legs
  • Loss of balance

For example, sciatica is a specific type of radiculopathy that occurs when your sciatic nerve is compressed in your lower (lumbar) spine.

If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with the team at Source Healthcare. They offer state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and treatments to relieve your pain and restore your quality of life.

Lumbar Radiculopathy

This condition is an irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the lumbar spine. Because these nerves travel to the hips, buttocks, legs and feet, an injury in the lumbar spine can cause symptoms in these areas. Sciatica may result from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the lumbar spinal column.

Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection

This outpatient procedure is an injection of a steroid-anesthetic medication. The medication can reduce swelling and inflammation of irritated spinal nerves. This procedure is performed to relieve pain in the lower back and pain that radiates from the back to the legs. The injection takes only a few minutes to complete.

How is a Pinched Nerve Diagnosed?

In many cases, the doctors at Source Healthcare recognize radiculopathy just from your description of your symptoms. However, they provide thorough exams and testing to confirm your diagnosis.

For example, in addition to a physical exam, your doctor may order an X-ray or MRI to confirm and locate the compression of a spinal nerve.

What Causes Radiculopathy?

The most common cause of radiculopathy is a herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when the soft gel-like interior of a spinal disc pushes through a tear in the rubbery outer shell. In many cases, the bulge compresses a nerve in your spine, causing radiculopathy symptoms.

Other issues that cause radiculopathy include:

  • Bone spurs
  • Tumors
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Compression fractures
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Scoliosis

Your risk of radiculopathy increases as you age and if you’re overweight or obese. Repetitive motions, poor posture, and a family history of spine problems also contribute to your chances of developing a pinched spinal nerve.


How is Radiculopathy Treated?

The doctors at Source Health provide treatments to relieve the compression of your spinal nerves, such as:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Epidural injections
  • Facet joint injections
  • Sacroiliac (SI) joint injections

The team at Source Healthcare may also recommend regenerative medicine therapies such as stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to address the issues that led to your nerve compression in the first place. In some cases, you may need surgery to repair or remove a structural abnormality from your spine.

If you have radiculopathy symptoms, call Source Healthcare or make an appointment online today.

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