What is Radiculopathy?

This is not a condition at all but a term used to describe symptoms of back pain that originate from back nerves being compressed or pinched in some way, causing them to not work properly and send pain signals to the brain. Now while you have nerves running throughout your body, when you are dealing with radiculopathy you are dealing with the nerve roots in your spine. A pinched nerve in the neck or back can have repercussions throughout the entire body, your pain or symptoms would not be limited to the back. An example of this is if you where to have a pinched nerve in your neck you may have pain and weakness in your arms while a pinched nerve in your lower back might give the same symptoms in your legs or feet.

If you cannot relieve the pressure on a pinched nerve it could cause the nerve to die off as it is no longer able to function without blood bringing nutrients to it. This is one of the main reasons why you should always seek treatments when dealing with back pain lasting longer then a weak or two.

Radiculopathy Causes

The main causes for radiculopathy are of course very similar to what you would see with a pinched nerve. The commonly seen ones are herniated discs, bone spurs, and scoliosis. The less common conditions are tumors, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease.

Radiculopathy Symptoms

Symptoms of this condition will vary quite a bit depending on where in the back you are experiencing a pinched or compressed nerve.

If you have cervical radiculopathy (kyphosis definition), this is a pinched nerve in your neck it will affect your neck and arms. So your symptoms may be the following:

  • A dull aching pain in your neck
  • Weakness in your arms or hands
  • Tingling in your fingers
  • You may have numbness, tingling, or weakness in the muscles of the shoulder, arm, or hand.
  • You may see a decrease in the reflexes of your upper arms.

If you have thoracic radiculopathy, a pinched nerve in the mid-back, it would affect the muscles in your chest and abdomen. It is very rare to have a pinched nerve root in this area due to the fact that your mid-back does not bend or flex as much as the lower back or neck areas. Symptoms may be the following:

  • Chest pains, this pain may come and go or it may be chronic in nature.
  • You may have pain in your arms or lower back
  • You may have intense pain that radiates down one side of your body

If you where to suffer from lumbar radiculopathy, a pinched nerve in your lower back, you may have these following symptoms:

  • Pain in your lower back
  • Pain that radiates down into your lower extremities
  • Pain that radiates from the lower back down the legs and into the feet
  • Muscle weakness in your lower body
  • Numbness or tingling in your legs and feet