What is radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy is described as a variety of conditions that compress the nerve roots, resulting in symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. In the spine, radiculopathy can be caused by conditions such as a herniated (prolapsed) disc, bone spurs caused by osteoarthritis and many other types of spine degeneration.
In most cases, radiculopathy can be treated with a simple course of conservative techniques, although it is important to understand that some patients do require surgical intervention for satisfactory relief. Read on to learn about the treatment options for radiculopathy, including the nonsurgical therapies and surgical approaches available for this condition.
Conservative treatments for radiculopathy
Neck and back pain is something that nearly everyone experiences at some point in their lives. For the most part, this discomfort lasts a day or two before disappearing. Radiculopathy occurs when the discomfort is caused by the compression of a spinal nerve root. It may require more extensive treatment than typical soreness. Symptomatic relief can usually be accomplished with conservative treatments, many of which can be performed within the comforts of the home.
Some examples of nonsurgical treatment for radiculopathy include:
- Pain medication, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants
- Heat massages to increase blood circulation and facilitate the healing process
- Posture improvement to ensure the correct alignment of the spine
- Targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles in the neck or back
- Stretching to increase the flexibility of the neck or back
- Diet counseling to lose weight and reduce strain on the spine
- Cold therapy to reduce swelling
Radiculopathy surgical options
These are just a few examples of the conservative treatments available for nerve compression and radiculopathy therapy. In order to determine which techniques will be most beneficial, it is important that you visit your physician for a medical review. Once the source and location of your discomfort are found, your physician will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is specifically targeted to manage your symptoms.
If after several weeks you continue to experience radiculopathy, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how one of our minimally invasive procedures may be able to help you find relief from neck or back pain. Our procedures offer a shorter recovery period as well as a safer and effective alternative compared to traditional open spine surgery.^
As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their chronic conditions. Reach out to our dedicated team and ask for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient procedures.