Radiculopathy

Sunset Neurological & Psychiatry Group

Psychiatrists & Neurologists located in Miami, FL

Radiculopathy is a nerve problem in your spine that causes neck and back pain. If you have symptoms caused by radiculopathy, a team of highly skilled professionals can help. At Sunset Neurological & Psychiatry Group in Miami, Florida, they offer expert diagnostics and advanced treatments for your condition. Call Sunset Neurological & Psychiatry Group today or book an appointment online to discover treatments that genuinely relieve radiculopathy pain.

Radiculopathy Q & A

What is radiculopathy?

Radiculopathy results from nerve roots in your spine being pinched or damaged. Radiculopathy causes various symptoms, depending on which nerves are affected. The most common of these is back or neck pain.

The pain can be sharp or shooting and is often severe. It usually gets worse when you’re physically active or if you cough or sneeze. Other symptoms include:

  • Weak arms or legs
  • Numbness
  • Pins-and-needles sensation
  • Tingling
  • Prickling
  • Burning

Lumbar radiculopathy affects the nerves in your lower (lumbar) spine, so your symptoms are likely to affect one or both legs, buttocks, and hips. Sciatica, which is caused by a pinched sciatic nerve in the bottom of your spine, is lumbar radiculopathy.

Cervical radiculopathy involves the nerves in your neck, so your symptoms might affect your shoulders, arms, and hands.

What causes radiculopathy?

The nerve pressure that causes radiculopathy results usually from changes in your spinal bones (vertebrae) or the tough but spongy discs that sit between them. These changes might have to do with the discs getting harder and flatter as you age (degenerative disc disease).

A damaged (herniated or bulging) disc can also pinch a nerve. Or you could have bone spurs (bony growths on the vertebrae) if you have a condition like osteoarthritis in your spine. Other causes of radiculopathy include thickening of the spinal ligaments, spinal infections, and spine tumors.

How is radiculopathy diagnosed?

Sunset Neurological & Psychiatry Group diagnoses radiculopathy with a physical exam and advanced testing. They check your muscle strength and reflexes and look at what makes your pain worse. They also use diagnostic imaging like X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI.

Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) studies and electromyography (EMG) are other tests your doctor might use to evaluate your nerve function.

How is radiculopathy treated?

Many causes of radiculopathy respond well to treatments like:

  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Prescription pain medication
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Steroid injections

If these treatments don’t relieve your symptoms, you might benefit from a minimally invasive procedure like radiofrequency ablation or spinal cord stimulation. These advanced treatments work by stopping the nerves in your back or neck from sending pain signals to your brain.

To find out why you have radiculopathy and what treatment can best relieve your pain, call Sunset Neurological & Psychiatry Group today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.