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Radiculopathy: Definition, Types, and Symptoms - Spine Center of Texas
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Radiculopathy: Definition, Types, and Symptoms

Radiculopathy, also referred to as a pinched nerve, occurs when the nerves in the vertebral column are damaged, compressed, or pinched. When these nerve roots are subjected to pressure, the result is inflammation that can lead to pain in a variety of areas, including arms, shoulder, leg, and back pain.

Radiculopathy symptoms

It is vital to note that all nerves in the spine are connected to various parts of the body. This means that depending on the part of the spine that the nerve is pinched, patients will experience varying symptoms.

Let’s look at the different types of radiculopathy with regard to where they occur.

1.      Cervical radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy takes place when a nerve in the upper back area or neck is pinched or compressed. The most common symptoms related to this condition include:

  • The primary symptom of cervical radiculopathy is upper back pain, plus in the neck, arm, or shoulder.
  • General numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers, in addition to general muscle weakness, especially on one side of the body
  • Lack of or very poor coordination, primarily in the hands

2.      Lumbar radiculopathy

Also known as sciatica, lumbar radiculopathy is characterized by pain in the legs, lower back, and hip area, especially when nerves in the lower back region are pinched. The other symptoms of this condition include:

  • Weakness or numbness in the feet
  • Bladder and bowel incontinence when nerves connected to the bladder or bowel become compressed
  • Tingling in the leg or back
  • Severe pain when coughing
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Changes in reflex

3.      Thoracic radiculopathy

When the nerves in the mid-back area are irritated or pinched, there can be pain in the chest region and torso.

It should be noted that thoracic radiculopathy can easily be misdiagnosed as gallbladder, abdominal, heart problems, or even shingles. Here are the symptoms of thoracic radiculopathy:

  • Tingling and numbness
  • Severe shooting pain in the side, abdomen or ribs

While the symptoms of radiculopathy can be handled effectively by a wide variety of medical alternatives, it is essential to consider other options when it gets severe. Such choices include non-invasive spine surgery to deal with the problem. Contact Spine Center of Texas today to schedule your appointment in San Antonio, New Braunfels, or Seguin.