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Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is a term that describes damage to spinal nerve roots. It can occur at any level along the spine. It is usually a result of nerve root compression, which occurs when something puts pressure on the nerve root. Most of the time the pressure comes from a herniated disc, although bone spurs are another common cause of nerve root compression.

Symptoms of radiculopathy include neck and/or shoulder pain, headache and sharp pain, weakness, numbness, tingling or other nerve symptoms going down the leg or arm, impaired reflexes, weakness, muscle stiffness, and limited motion. Radiculopathy can have different symptoms and different names depending on where in the spine it occurs.

i.        Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy describes a compressed nerve root in the neck (cervical spine). Because the nerve roots in this area of the spine primarily control sensations in your arms and hands, this is where the symptoms are most likely to occur.

ii.        Lumbar Radiculopathy

When radiculopathy occurs in the lower back, it is known as lumbar radiculopathy, also referred to as sciatica because nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve are often involved. The lower back is the area most frequently affected by radiculopathy.

iii.        Thoracic Radiculopathy

Thoracic radiculopathy refers to a compressed nerve root in the thoracic area of the spine, which is your upper back. This is the least common location for radiculopathy. The symptoms often follow a dermatomal distribution, and can cause pain and numbness that wraps around to the front of your body.

Radiculopathy, John Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/nervous_system_disorders/acute_radiculopathies_134,11

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