Radiculopathy is a condition as a result of a compacted nerve in the spine characterized by pain, numbness, tingling or weakness. It is most common in the lumbar and cervical region and less common in the thoracic region.
Causes of Radiculopathy
Radiculopathy is caused by mechanical compression of the nerve by an abnormal protruding organ through a tear, a bone appendage or from dense surrounding ligaments. A tumor or infection also causes radiculopathy as it reduces the amount of space in the spinal canal. Scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine, can also compress the nerves leading to radiculopathy. Inflammation from trauma causes constant irritation to the nerves increasing the chance of radiculopathy developing.
Symptoms of Radiculopathy
Physical therapists at True Way Physical Therapy discovered that the manifestation of radiculopathy depended on the types of nerves affected. If the cervical nerves were affected, the patient would experience pain and numbness in the limbs. Lumbar radiculopathy causes pain that spreads to a lower extremity while thoracic radiculopathy causes pain in areas around the chest. Some patients develop painful allergies to light touch in the area involved while others experience weakness in the muscles.
Treatment for Radiculopathy at the True Way Physical Therapy
Most people can obtain good relief of their symptoms by the following successful treatment methods:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Chiropractic treatment
- Avoiding activities that strain the neck and back
- Epidural steroid injection
- Surgery if symptoms become severe
Maintaining an agreeable weight, good conditioning of the muscles and abstaining from excessive strain on the neck and backwill prevent radiculopathy.
Physical Therapy in Port Chester, NY for radiculopathy includes exercises such as:
- Upper back extension
- Total backstretch
These exercises combined with the treatment methods will ensure successful treatment of radiculopathy.