Radiculopathy is nerve root pain. Spinal nerves begin in the spinal cord. The portion of the spinal nerve at its beginning is termed the nerve root. Nerve root compression, or radiculopathy, can result in symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. In the spine, radiculopathy can be caused by a number of conditions such as a herniated (prolapsed) disc, the 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.
Neck and back pain is something that nearly everyone experiences to a certain degree. We have all felt aches and pains at some point in our lives. For the most part, this discomfort lasts a day or two before disappearing. Radiculopathy occurs when the discomfort is caused by the impingement upon a spinal nerve root. It may require more extensive treatment than typical soreness. Symptomatic relief can usually be accomplished with conservative, non-surgical treatments, many of which can be performed within the comforts of the home.
Some examples of non-surgical treatment for radiculopathy include:
- Pain medication, analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants
- Heat therapy to increase blood circulation and facilitate the healing process
- Cold therapy to reduce swelling
- Targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles in the neck or back
- Stretching exercises to increase the flexibility of the neck or back
- Massage therapy to relax the muscles
- Diet counseling to lose weight and reduce strain on the spine
- Posture improvement to ensure the correct alignment of the spine
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 is 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 and back pain without having to undergo traditional open spine surgery.