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Radiculopathy: What Is It

Radiculopathy is a condition in the spine which is characterized by pain, weakness, numbness, or a tingling sensation due to an abnormal pressure or a compressed nerve. The nerves that are affected cannot do their functions effectively.  Symptoms of radiculopathy are most common in the neck and low back.


Radiculopathy takes place when a nerve is compacted by connecting tissues. A herniated or slipped disc can also be a cause.  This brings about pain and discomfort. When the slipped disc constricts one of the spinal nerves, numbness can occur. A recent study revealed that chiropractic care improved patients’ outcome with radiculopathy caused by a herniated disc.

Another cause is a bone spur, an extra bone that forms on the edge of the spine.  The inflammation and the loss of cartilage in the joints may result in radiculopathy.


Cervical Radiculopathy

The condition appears when the nerve tissues from your cervical spine compress. Other people call this condition as a pinched nerve. The underlying cause would be a herniated disc in the cervical spine or spinal degeneration.

Thoracic Radiculopathy

A pinched nerve in your upper back, the pain can radiate to your chest and torso.

Lumbar Radiculopathy

Compression of the spinal nerve or sciatica can be a cause. The pain may come from the lower back and go through the buttocks down to the back of legs.

People At Risk

Usually, people between the ages of 30 to 50 will experience this condition.
Additionally, people who are obese, with conditions like osteoarthritis, and those who have rheumatoid arthritis are susceptible to this kind of condition.
Other risk factors are bad posture, abnormalities in spine like scoliosis. Women who are pregnant are having a higher risk for this condition. There is a genetic risk factor as well. You should take it into account if your family has a history of radiculopathy.

Symptoms and Treatment

Symptoms may vary and may rely upon the type you have.
• Cervical – loss of feeling, burning or tingling sensation, weakness in your shoulder are due to pressure on one of the nerves in your neck.
• Thoracic – occurs when a pinched nerve happens in your upper back. The pain radiates in your chest and torso.
• Lumbar – because of the pressure of the nerve roots in your low back spine, lumbar radiculopathy may cause pain in the hip and severe pain in your leg. Sexual dysfunction or incontinence may also occur in severe cases.
Other symptoms include loss of reflexes and loss of sensation and shooting pain.
It is best to consult a medical practitioner right away to avoid serious complications. You do not have to undergo surgery especially if you take immediate action. Chiropractic care and spinal decompression are the most effective treatments for this condition.
If you would like to make an appointment, kindly contact Beyond Wellness Chiropractic Center today.


“From my experience, personal connections and continuous care are the most important things. Therefore I always take the time to get to know my patients.”
Dr. Paula Harris
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