What Causes Radiating Pain?

Radiating Pain

Radiculitis, also known as radiating pain, is ultimately a sign that a nerve or nerve root along the spinal column is under pressure from some sort of injury or inflammation. It is a common symptom of many spinal conditions and manifests itself as pain that seems to travel the length of a nerve—for instance, down an entire arm or leg.

The anatomy of radiating pain

Traveling pain is a form of referred pain—that is, pain that is felt in a place different from its origin. When, for instance, a herniated disc extrudes beyond its normal space between vertebrae, it may impinge upon one of the many nerve roots that depart from the spinal cord. This pinching results in pain that may radiate along the entire length of the nerve root. Sciatica (lower back pain that radiates down the leg and into the foot), which is perhaps the best known example of radiating pain, follows precisely that pattern—a bulging disc or a herniated disc pinches the sciatic nerve, a branch of which runs from the lower back all the way to each foot, and causes pain in the lower back, the back of the thigh and knee and the foot.

Treatment for radiating pain

Anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers may help with radiating pain, as can physical exercises or targeted physical therapy, heat therapy or other non-invasive methods. If your physician believes that you need surgery to treat your pain, however, consider Laser Spine Institute.

Our surgical team is comprised of some of the most renowned spine surgeons, each of whom is an expert in the use of minimally invasive equipment and procedures to address common spine conditions. Our state-of-the-art procedures can address your spine problem and have you back on your feet in much less time and with much less risk, scarring and discomfort than you get with traditional open spine surgery. Contact Laser Spine Institute today for your MRI review.