Medications for radiculopathy

Medications for radiculopathy are routinely included in a course of conservative treatment for neck or back pain. Radiculopathy is pain or discomfort that originates with the nerve roots of the spine and radiates through other parts of the body such as the arms, hands, legs and feet. These symptoms can often be managed nonsurgically, but a physician should always be consulted before beginning a course of medication for neck or back pain.

Radiculopathy can be a major reason why spine conditions become debilitating, taking you away from time with your friends and family as well as making your favorite activities difficult. Learning about the medications that are often used as treatment can make you a better informed patient and more engaged with the care process.

Medications for radiculopathy

Medications for radiculopathy can come in different forms, including pills, creams, patches or injections. A physician might suggest over-the-counter medications or in more severe cases, he or she may recommend prescription narcotics. This recommendation is made after a diagnosis of the underlying condition causing radiculopathy, which involves a thorough physical examination and review of medical history. Imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI or CT scan can also be required to find the location and cause of radiculopathy.

Medications for radiculopathy include:

  • Analgesic pain relievers like acetaminophen
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Antidepressants
  • Opioids
  • Epidural steroidal injections
  • Nerve block injections

Nerve block injections can also be helpful in isolating the exact location of nerve compression causing radiculopathic symptoms

When to consider surgery

If medications and other conservative treatments prove ineffective for the management of traveling pain, tingling, numbness and weakness, a physician might present surgery as an option. Physicians and patients view surgery as a last-resort option because of the highly invasive nature of traditional open spine procedures. To access the spine, a surgeon must use a large incision that cuts and tears through important supporting muscles. This leads to an extended hospital stay followed by a long, often difficult, recuperation period for patients.

Laser Spine Institute offers an alternative to traditional open spine procedures, with minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery to help you find relief from neck or back pain. With our procedures, a surgeon can decompress spinal nerves using a less than 1-inch incision. This leads to less muscle disruption so patients can enjoy a shorter recovery time with less risk of complication compared to traditional procedures.

Contact Laser Spine Institute for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you may be a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.