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Radiculopathy or radiating pain?

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What is Radiculopathy?

It is not a specific condition but refers to chronic injuries of the spinal nerve roots caused by nerve compression, or irritation that has been left untreated.

Radiculopathy is the term used to describe symptoms in any part of the spine caused by nerves that are not working properly.

It is most common in the lower back (lumbar radiculopathy) and in the neck (cervical radiculopathy).

What Are the Signs of Radiculopathy?

Signs and symptoms of radiculopathy include pain that feels like a burning sensation, numbness, and tingling in the arms or legs. As the condition progresses it is possible that further symptoms such as muscle weakness and muscular atrophy will begin to be seen.

In most cases radiculopathy symptoms will begin mild and progress more as the condition worsens with time.

Lumbar Radiculopathy Symptoms:

  • Pain that radiates through your buttocks and down your legs; worsens when sitting

  • A sharp constant pain in the back of the leg that will get worse when standing or walking

  • Weakness or loss of function in the leg or foot

  • Numbness and/or tingling in one leg


What Does a Disc Do?

  • Pain that radiates through the shoulder, down the arm, and occasionally into the hand

  • Neck pain

  • Loss of reflexes in the affected arm

  • Numbness and/or tingling in the arm and possibly the hand

  • Muscular weakness in the arm

Symptoms of radiculopathy are also dependent on which nerve is affected. For example, inflamed nerves in the neck and inflamed nerves in the back show symptoms in different parts of the body. In particular, symptoms of cervical radiculopathy are seen in the shoulders, arms, and hands, whereas symptoms of lumbar radiculopathy are found in the buttocks, legs, and feet. It is also true that radiculopathy symptoms may be felt in specific areas of the extremities depending on which nerve is actually affected.

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