Radiculopathy is a general term used to describe issues involving the spinal region at the area near the roots of the nerves. The condition is typically caused by pressure that is being applied by a potentially herniated plate, but there may be other causes such as degenerative spine changes, for example. These changes can also aggravate nerve roots and cause pain.
Radiculopathy can be further broken down into several types, each of which is named after the area or zone of the spine that they affect. Cervical radiculopathy involves the neck (cervical) area and the nerves within that area. However, it can extend into the limbs, including the arms and even the hands and fingers, causing a tingling, numbing, or shivering sensation. Weakness may also be present.
Lumbar radiculopathy affects the lower back (lumbar) area of the spine. Much like cervical radiculopathy, the condition can extend into the legs, feet, as well as the buttocks, causing pain or weakness in the muscles. Sciatica radiculopathy is another type of lumbar radiculopathy, but it refers specifically to the sciatic nerve which begins at the lower back and extends to the hips, the back of the legs and the buttocks.
Thoracic radiculopathy refers to the chest area, though its occurrence in this area is rare. It can, however, affect the chest as well as the stomach, upper back, and mid-back.
This update is brought to you by the Cantor Spine Institute, a minimally invasive spine surgery center located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We utilize groundbreaking ultrasonic spine surgery techniques to treat a number of cervical and lumbar conditions including cervical disc herniation, ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, spondylolisthesis, and more. For more information or to schedule a complimentary MRI review, please call 954-567-1332.