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Several sensitive nerves in the body branch away from the spinal column through canals before they travel to peripheral areas. These nerves transmit sensory information back and forth from the central nervous system. However, sometimes your nerves stop working properly because they are compressed and damaged as they leave the spine. The resulting pain is referred to as radiculopathy.
Reduce your risk.
Radiculopathy is often caused when there is a change in the tissue that surrounds the root of one of your nerves. Tissues such as spinal vertebrae, tendons and intervertebral discs can change in size, causing the space to narrow where your nerve roots travel in the spine. This narrowing (stenosis) leads to a degeneration of the spine.
Herniated discs or discs that move out of place and place pressure on nerves are a form of stenosis and will usually occur in your lower back or neck. Bone spurs are another cause of radiculopathy, as they form in the spine. Other, less common causes are cancerous or noncancerous growths in the spine that place pressure against nerve roots.
Pinpoint your pain.
When you suffer from radiculopathy, your symptoms may vary depending on the location of the compressed nerve root. When a nerve root is squeezed, it becomes inflamed, resulting in symptoms such as sharp pain that increases with certain activities. This can typically occur in the back, arms, legs or shoulders. You may experience a loss in arm and leg reflexes, tingling or “pins and needles” sensations.
You also might experience only intermittent pain—or no symptoms at all. The elite team of experts at Kayal Pain & Spine Center has the skills and expertise to assess, diagnose and treat your condition.
Get the answers you need.
The experts at Kayal Pain & Spine Center will often take several measures to diagnose radiculopathy, such as a physical exam to check muscle strength and reflexes. If you experience pain with particular movements, your doctor will be able to identify the nerve root that is affected. Imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans are often helpful to evaluate structures in the affected area. Nerve conduction studies, in conjunction with electromyography, also can you’re your doctor determine if the radiculopathy is neurological or muscular.
Life’s too short to put up with pain.
The recommended treatment for radiculopathy will depend on the location and cause. At Kayal Pain & Spine Center, your doctor will explore nonsurgical treatments when possible. They may include anti-inflammatory pain medication to manage the discomfort, physical therapy to strengthen the muscles and prevent future damage or steroid injections to help reduce pain.
If your condition does not improve after several weeks following these treatments, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment, exploring less invasive procedures when feasible. No matter which choice you and your medical team make, the aim of surgery is to minimize and alleviate pressure on your nerve root by removing part of a disc or vertebrae. At Kayal Pain & Spine Center, the goal is to relieve your pain and restore your mobility.