What should we know about radiculopathy pain?
Radiculopathy is a disease with which the musculoskeletal system is closely related. In this disease, due to trauma, inflammation, or compression of the roots of the spinal nerves, the peripheral nervous system is affected. The essence of the radiculopathy pain lies in the fact that, due to inflammation or mechanical damage in the vertebral cavity, compression of the nerve roots occurs, which entails the onset of pain and the development of inflammatory processes.
Most often, this disease affects people whose activities, in one way or another, are associated with excessive stress on the spine. And we are talking not only about professional athletes but about physically active people.More than 10% of people over the age of 40 have experienced first-hand what radiculopathy pain is. The pain can be divided into cervical radiculopathy, lumbar radiculopathy, lumbosacral radiculopathy and spinal radiculopathy.
What causes radiculopathy?
The disease is formed against the background of various negative factors, the following reasons for the appearance of radiculopathy are often found:
- a sedentary lifestyle, as a result — a weak muscle corset;
- age-related changes in the spine;
- the presence of metabolic, hormonal disruptions in the patient’s body;
- curvature of the spinal column against the background of improper posture;
- neoplasms in the spine or nearby tissues;
- abnormal structure of the vertebrae, birth trauma;
- long-term loads of a dynamic and static nature;
- course of osteoporosis, osteochondrosis.
All of the above negative factors contribute to the onset of degenerative-dystrophic processes.
What Is Cervical Radiculopathy?
Cervical radiculopathy — implies the presence of painful sensations in the neck, namely: sharp pain during movement, muscle weakness and impaired sensitivity not only at the site of localization, but also in the shoulders and arms. The main causes of cervical radiculopathy are intervertebral hernias, foraminal stenosis, disc degeneration and protrusion, osteoarthritis. Most often, acute pain occurs in the morning. Radiculopathy symptoms may include:
- pain in the neck;
- shoulder and hand pain;
- soreness, stiffness in the neck muscles;
- violation of sensitivity, accompanied by a burning sensation, tingling, numbness, cold;
- metabolic disorders.
If you find similar symptoms in yourself, treatment should be started without delay.
What are the treatments of cervical radiculopathy?
Conservative treatment of cervical spine radicular syndrome may include the following treatments:
- Rest or change in activity.
- Exercise therapy. Exercise and stretching can help relieve symptoms. The exercise therapy doctor can develop an individual plan for a specific patient. Exercise therapy is the most effective method of radiculopathy treatment both in the short and long term.
- Medicines. To reduce the symptoms of pain, it is possible to use various anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants.
- Manual therapy. Manipulation during manual therapy allows you to remove blocks and improve the mobility of motor segments and thus reduce symptoms.
- Acupuncture, along with other methods, is used in the treatment of radicular syndrome in the cervical spine. This method of treatment improves the conduction in nerve fibers, relieves pain and restores sensitivity.
If conservative treatments fail to reduce pain, or if neurologic symptoms such as numbness and weakness in the arms continue to progress, then surgery may be considered.