- Risk Factors
Radiculopathy prevention may be achieved by preventing nerve compression near the spine. These symptoms related to nerve root compression are often caused by a degenerative spine condition that develops as the spine weakens over time.
While there is no way to prevent spinal deterioration altogether, there are steps that can be taken to increase the strength and flexibility of the neck and back to help prevent avoidable sources of nerve compression.
Radiculopathy is a term that describes a group of symptoms that can develop with nerve compression. These symptoms often appear along the nerve pathway, away from the original location of the compression. The group of radiculopathy symptoms can include:
- Pain that radiates along a nerve
- Unexpected muscle weakness
- Loss of reflex or motor function
- Numbness or tingling sensation
When a nerve becomes compressed in the spinal column, most commonly by a herniated disc, bone spur or swollen soft tissue, the flow of signals between the brain and the nerve ending is interrupted. Depending on the location of the nerve, this can result in pain at the site of compression or symptoms that are transferred along the nerve to another part of the body. This is why, for example, a pinched nerve in the neck can be responsible for numb hands and fingers.
Since no one can prevent getting older, it is important to focus on factors that can be controlled. This is why pinched nerve and radiculopathy prevention can be helped by reducing unwanted stress on the spine.
Maintaining poor posture, not stretching correctly or carrying extra pounds all increase the burden placed on the neck and back, which is why the flexible lumbar (lower) spine and cervical (upper) spine in the neck are most prone to damage. There are certain lifestyle choices you can make to help improve the overall health of your spine. These prevention methods include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Participating regularly in low-impact exercise
- Avoiding tobacco use or excessive alcohol consumption
- Stretching daily
- Eating a nutritious diet
- Drinking plenty of water daily
Treatment options for radiculopathy
Sometimes even the best prevention plans do not always help you avoid nerve compression in the spine. If you are experiencing radiculopathy, your doctor can recommend a series of nonsurgical treatments, such as medication and physical therapy, to help you find pain relief.
However, if months of conservative treatments have not been effective, you should consider the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery has been used to treat degenerative spine conditions and nerve compression and has helped thousands of patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain. For many patients with radiculopathy, a decompression procedure is recommended to remove a small piece of the damaged spine from pinching the nerve root. In some cases, a minimally invasive stabilization surgery is recommended to add stability to the spine and relieve pressure on the pinched nerve.
Patients choose our minimally invasive spine surgery over traditional open spine surgery because our procedures offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery, as well as a shorter recovery time and lower risk of complication.^ To learn more about the advantages of our minimally invasive spine surgery for radiculopathy treatment, contact our team at Laser Spine Institute today.
We can perform a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.