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Radiculopathy is a painful condition that occurs when the nerves in your spine are pinched or compressed.
You may experience pain and other symptoms that radiate out into the arms or the legs. The impingement on your nerve root may be the result of an injury or degenerative condition. You should consult with a specialist if you are experiencing symptoms to determine if treatment is necessary.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE RADICULOPATHY?
If you have radiculopathy, you may experience pain, weakness, or numbness in the areas served by a pinched nerve – you could experience pain in a single location, like the shoulder, or the pain can spread throughout the entire arm.
The intensity and type of pain that comes with radiculopathy can vary – some of our patients describe the pain between a dull ache or sharp and stabbing. Some of our patients at Alexander Bone and Spine describe a dull and all-over pain; others describe the pain as severe or sharp.
Certain neck movements (bending or rotating the neck) may increase your pain. Some people report that pain decreases when they place a hand behind their head – this may provide relief from the pressure on the nerve root which can lessen pain and irritation.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT TREATMENT FOR ME?
Cervical radiculopathy may be treated in a number of ways – either conservatively, through exercise and stretching, or surgery might need to be considered if your condition is severe or worsens.
The following kinds of treatment should be considered:
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Steroid injections
If you’re not able to find relief from your symptoms after a few weeks of treatment, Dr. Alexander might recommend surgery to help decompress the spine and relieve pressure.
You’ll need to consult with your doctor to determine which treatment options are best for you or make an appointment with Alexander Bone and Spine for a consultation.