Radiculopathy can cause pain throughout your body. When you come to Twin Cities Spine Center (TC Spine), your spine specialist will use our practice's collective expertise to determine the cause of your pain and prescribe effective treatment.
What Is Radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy is pain caused by inflammation or pressure on a nerve as it leaves the spine. Similar to a tree, nerve roots are branches of your spinal cord that carry signals to the rest of your body at each level along your spine. Compression of the nerve can happen at any point along this path. Some of the most common sites of compression are at the spine in the neck, mid-back or low-back.
Radiculopathy can be caused by a variety of sources, including a herniated or ruptured disc, stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal), bone spurs, spondylolisthesis (slipping of the vertebra), or scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine). All of these conditions can press on your nerves and cause pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the areas of your body served by the affected nerve roots. The pain experienced can be sharp, dull or aching. When involving the neck, pain can travel into the neck, shoulders, shoulder blades and arms. When involving the thoracic or mid-back, the pain can travel into the chest or flank. When involving the low-back or lumbar spine, the pain can be expected in the back, buttocks, down the legs or into the feet.
Radiculopathy and Sciatica Treatment
The highly skilled spine specialists at TC Spine have the knowledge and expertise to determine whether your symptoms are due to radiculopathy or are the result of musculoskeletal sprains and strains.
Your diagnosis begins with a thorough clinical exam. You'll receive a full neurological assessment, and your doctor may order an electromyographic test to help diagnose which nerve root(s) are involved. An MRI and other x-ray imaging tests may be ordered to ensure that there's no injury, deformity or instability of the spinal column.
Once the source of your radiculopathy has been identified, you will discuss a treatment plan that might include anti-inflammatory medicines or muscle relaxants. Physical therapy may also be prescribed.