- Risk Factors
Radiculopathy prevention may be achieved by preventing nerve compression near the spine. This nerve compression is 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.
Preventing radiculopathy is really a matter of pinched nerve prevention, and pinched nerve prevention is a matter of reducing unwarranted 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 spine in the lower back and cervical spine in the neck are most prone to damage. While you cannot avoid aging, there are certain lifestyle choices you can make to help improve the overall health of your spine. These prevention methods include:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Participate in low-impact exercise regularly
- Stop smoking or excessive alcohol use
- Stretch daily
- Eat a holistic diet
- Drink plenty of water daily
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 to help you find pain relief.
However, if months of conservative treatments have not altered your level of pain, 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 more than 75,000 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 stabilization surgery is needed 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 review your MRI report or CT scan and help you make a confident decision about your spine care needs.