With Radiculopathy, Spine Symptoms Can Occur Far From Your Spine

Dec 02, 2023
With Radiculopathy, Spine Symptoms Can Occur Far From Your Spine
You’re experiencing pain, numbness, and/or tingling in your hands, or maybe in your feet, and you wonder what’s causing the problem. The answer may lie as far away as your spine if there’s radiculopathy.

You’ve developed an odd tingling sensation in your fingers, or maybe you’re dealing with pain that’s shooting down one of your legs. In either case, the problem may not be related to your limbs at all, but, rather, to a problem in your spine.

Called radiculopathy, this condition is one that Dr. Naveen Reddy and Dr. Maziar Massrour have seen frequently here at Apex Pain Specialists. This type of pinched-nerve condition can lead to a considerable amount of discomfort — both locally and in seemingly unrelated  places. Thankfully, we can help you find relief.

The basics of radiculopathy

Your spinal cord has 31 pairs of spinal nerve roots. These nerves exit your spine and travel throughout your body.  When you have radiculopathy, something — usually degenerative changes in your spine — compresses one of these nerve roots, which can lead to localized symptoms as well as symptoms that travel down the length of the nerve.

A great example of radiculopathy is sciatica, which affects up to 40% of people at some point in their lives. Your sciatic nerve starts in your lower back and branches out and travels down both legs. With sciatica, something compresses the nerve near your spine, such as a herniated disc, and you can feel pain in your lower back as well as down one side of your buttocks and into one leg.

While this is a good example of lumbar radiculopathy, the condition can also occur in your neck (cervical radiculopathy) and, less commonly, in your mid back (thoracic radiculopathy).

Treating radiculopathy

As we mentioned, degenerative changes along the spine are most often the culprits behind radiculopathy. So, if something like degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis is pinching a nerve root, we need to address the pain and then work on longer-term solutions to address the cause.

To relieve your pain, we typically start with a joint injection that can tackle the inflammation and discomfort. For example, we can inject a local anesthetic and steroid into the epidural space around the compressed nerve to quiet the signaling and relieve the pressure.

Once you’re comfortable, we get to work on addressing the underlying problem. In many cases, physical therapy exercises can provide more support in your spine, which, in turn, can help prevent the nerve roots from getting pinched. Your spine is surrounded by large muscle groups and, by strengthening these tissues, this can make you less vulnerable to radiculopathy.

If you suspect you have radiculopathy, and you want to get on the road to relief and better spine health, please call our office in Chandler, Arizona, at 480-820-7246 or book an appointment online with Apex Pain Specialists today.