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RadiculopathyRadiculopathy is a spinal condition where injury, illness, or general degeneration causes nerve compression within the spinal column. This pinched nerve leads to inflammation, resulting in pain and numbness in the back and other affected areas of the body. While pinched nerve pain can be debilitating, it is a manageable condition.

A pinched nerve can manifest anywhere along your spine, from the neck (cervical radiculopathy) to the lower back (lumbar radiculopathy). Thoracic radiculopathy, or a pinched nerve in the mid-back, is a less common location, but it can still cause considerable discomfort. Symptoms may include back pain, along with radiating pain and numbness. Don’t endure unnecessary suffering. Reach out to the top spine doctors in Wisconsin at Pro Spine & Pain for expert care. They specialize in treating the pain caused by lumbar radiculopathy without surgery. Schedule a consultation today to start your journey towards relief.

If you experience discomfort, stiffness, or pain from a pinched spinal nerve, seek assistance from the expert spine specialists at Pro Spine & Pain in Wisconsin. The doctors at this spine and pain center offer comprehensive diagnosis and employ advanced procedures or referrals to treat all your back problems, including lumbar and thoracic or lumbar radiculopathy surgery or other treatment.

Diagnosing Radiculopathy

A compressed nerve can occur anywhere along your spine, and your doctor will give you a physical exam to determine the source of your pain. The diagnosis may also use diagnostic imaging and other investigations to decide on the most appropriate treatment for your particular case.

Based on where your pain originates, doctors classify your pinched nerve as one of three types:

  1. Lumbar Radiculopathy: This type of compressed nerve occurs in the spinal cord in your lower back. It may affect your sciatic nerve, causing sciatica. Sciatica pain radiates from the lower spine through your hips and buttocks to one leg.
  2. Thoracic Radiculopathy: Affecting your middle back, or thoracic spine, this may cause pain in your chest and torso. Thoracic radiculopathy isn’t as common as other forms of radiculopathy, but the pain can be debilitating.
  3. Cervical Radiculopathy: If you suffer from cervical radiculopathy, you have a compressed nerve root in your neck. This condition causes weakness, stiffness, numbness, and tingling in your arms and hands.

Pro Spine & Pain has Wisconsin offices in Kenosha, Waukesha, Layton, Franklin, and Madison. Our renowned pain management specialists use advanced medical equipment to provide you with the expert care you need to diagnose and provide cervical, thoracic, and lumbar radiculopathy treatment.

Symptoms of Radiculopathy

Your symptoms can vary depending on the type and location of the compressed nerve.

Common symptoms of radiculopathy to watch for include:

  • Numbness, pins and needles, or weakness in your arms and legs
  • Burning or tingling sensations in your shoulder, arm, hand, or fingers
  • Chest and torso pain
  • Pain worsening when standing or sitting
  • Lower back pain
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Hip pain and sciatica
  • Shooting pain in your leg
  • Incontinence
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Paralysis

If you experience any of these symptoms or persistent back pain, it’s essential to seek evaluation from an experienced professional. The board-certified spine and pain specialists at Pro Spine & Pain in Wisconsin possess the expertise and technology needed to accurately diagnose and treat a wide range of spinal conditions.

Causes of Radiculopathy

Any structural change or condition in the spine can lead to compression of the spinal nerve roots.

Common causes of pinched nerve symptoms include:

  • Disc herniation
  • Spinal trauma or injury
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal tumors
  • Osteoarthritis or spinal arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis resulting from narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Spinal fractures/compression fractures
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Scoliosis, characterized by abnormal curvature of the spine
  • Complications associated with diabetes
  • Ossification of the spinal ligaments
  • Myelopathy

Early diagnosis of your symptoms is crucial for the health of your spine. The spine and pain specialists at Pro Spine & Pain will accurately identify and diagnose all underlying spinal conditions to effectively treat your radiculopathy.

Risk Factors for Radiculopathy

While anyone can experience a compressed spinal nerve, certain individuals may be more susceptible to this condition.

The risk factors for radiculopathy include:

  • Aging: Individuals between 30 and 50 years old are more prone to nerve compression.
  • Obesity and Weight Issues: Carrying excess weight places extra strain on the spine, increasing the likelihood of radiculopathy.
  • Poor Posture: Regularly holding the head forward or maintaining poor posture can elevate the risk of a pinched nerve in the cervical spine or neck area.
  • Improper Lifting Techniques: Engaging in heavy lifting or weightlifting without proper technique raises the risk of radiculopathy, as improper lifting increases the chances of spinal injury.
  • Repetitive Motions: Performing repetitive bending and twisting movements may lead to spinal damage and heighten the risk of radiculopathy.
  • Hereditary Factors: A family history of spinal conditions or degenerative disc problems can increase the likelihood of experiencing nerve compression.

If you are at risk for radiculopathy, seek guidance from the doctors at our Wisconsin spine pain center. You may require lumbar or thoracic radiculopathy treatment. Wisconsin’s leading pain specialists offer comprehensive answers to all your questions regarding the causes and symptoms of your spinal conditions.

Radiculopathy Treatment

Our doctor will evaluate the type of radiculopathy you’re experiencing before determining the most suitable treatment for you.

Treatment options for radiculopathy lumbar region treatment and other areas include:

  • Physical Therapy: Back strengthening exercises and posture correction provide better spinal support.
  • Medication: Prescription pain and anti-inflammatory medications can reduce inflammation and relieve pain, potentially improving your range of motion.
  • Spinal Injections: Steroid injections reduce pain and swelling while preventing nerve inflammation, offering temporary relief.
  • Activity Modification: Avoiding strenuous activities for a period may reduce the risk of further damage and pain.
  • Immobilization: Your doctor may prescribe a soft neck collar, splint, or neck brace to prevent aggravating your damaged spinal nerves.
  • Surgery: If conservative treatments fail, surgical treatment provides a long-term solution. Surgical options for cervical, thoracic, and lumbar radiculopathy include:
    • Discectomy
    • Decompression surgery
    • Corpectomy
    • Spinal fusion
    • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
    • Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
    • Disc replacement surgery
    • Posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion
    • Posterior lumbar interbody fusion

In addition to these treatments, you can reduce your risk of radiculopathy by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and adopting healthier lifting and posture habits. For the best thoracic or lumbar radiculopathy treatment or any spinal pain care, contact Pro Spine & Pain today.

Updated on Apr 16, 2024 by Dr. Thomas Stauss (Pain Management) of Pro Spine & Pain

Thomas Stauss, MD

Thomas Stauss, MD, completed both his undergraduate and medical studies at the esteemed University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Stauss values having access to a wide array of cutting-edge treatment options, ensuring effective relief for his patients' discomfort and a significant enhancement in their quality of life. More specifically, he specializes in utilizing implanted devices to manage chronic pain. Dr. Stauss’s primary objective is to uphold the dignity of each patient while delivering ethical and professional services.

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