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Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is also known as a pinched nerve. The condition may develop in different areas of the spinal cord, i.e., the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions. The symptoms of radiculopathy depend upon the affected spinal region. The most common cause of radiculopathy is the narrowing of the passage of a nerve from the spinal cord to a specific organ. It may be due to the formation of bone spurs, disc herniation, or stenosis.

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  • Cervical Radiculopathy: It is a neurological condition characterized by irritation or compression of the nerve in the neck when it branches from the spinal cord. The condition is often a result of degenerative changes that occur as a part of aging and cause bulging or herniation of the intervertebral discs. The symptoms of cervical radiculopathy include weakness and pain in the shoulder, arm, or hand muscles, reduced or loss of sensation, and tingling sensation in the hands or fingers.
  • Thoracic Radiculopathy: In this condition, the patients have inflamed, irritated, or compressed nerves in the thoracic section of the spine. Thoracic radiculopathy symptoms include difficulty bending backward or sitting for prolonged periods, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, and pain that radiates to the lower back or chest, and patients have worsening pain with physical activities and relief from pain at rest. The causes of thoracic radiculopathy are degenerative disc and joint disease, trauma, metastatic tumor, scoliosis, connective tissue disease, tuberculosis, and viral infection.
  • Lumbar Radiculopathy: This condition is characterized by the irritation, inflammation, or compression of the nerves of the lower back. The symptoms of lumbar radiculopathy include muscle spasms, lower back pain, numbness, tingling sensation, and weakness of the muscles of the groin, hip, buttocks, and legs. The treatment options for lumbar radiculopathy include pain medications, preventing activities that cause pain, steroidal injections to reduce inflammation, physical therapy, and a weight loss regimen. If the condition remains untreated and is progressive, it can cause permanent weakness or numbness in the feet or legs.

Faq's

There are several methods to diagnose cervical radiculopathy. These include physical examination (symptom evaluation), imaging tests (to determine any bone disorder), such as magnetic resonance imaging, x-ray, and computerized tomography scans, and electromyography (to measure electrical impulses in muscles).

Various treatment options for thoracic radiculopathy include medications, such as pain relievers, physical therapy, steroidal injections, and surgical interventions.