All Posts tagged radiculitis

Cervical radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy

Pain is often misleading. It can radiate and travel throughout the body leaving a patient unsure of the actual source of pain or injury this is the case with cervical radiculopathy.

Symptoms

Impingement of a nerve in the cervical spine (neck) can often cause cervical radiculopathy or cervical radiculitis.

This type of pain is particularly deceiving as it may present as shooting pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness  and may be felt in the neck, upper back, shoulders, arms, hands and/or fingers.

Causes

Cervical radiculitis usually occurs as a result of some underlying condition affecting the cervical discs or vertebrae. Such conditions may be; herniated disc in the neck, spondylolisthesis, or a buldging disc for example. In some cases the cause of these conditions is due to an injury or trauma of some kind, however, very often cervical pain is due to degeneration in the spine. Age, poor body mechanics, smoking, and genetics are all factors that contribute to neck pain.

Treatment of cervical radiculopathy

Radiating pain can mask the underlying cause or source of pain which could lead to an  inaccurate diagnosis and mistreatment of the pain.

Therefore it is imperative that patients  seek the medical attention of a qualified pain specialist who can perform appropriate diagnostic tests and order MRIs or XRAYs to pinpoint the true source of their pain.

The conservative, non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments offered by interventional pain specialists often solve the pain associated with cervical radiculitis at the source of the problem.

Interventional pain management offers advanced injection based procedures that reduce the need for medications, provide longer term pain relief and reduce the likelihood of expensive surgeries with long recovery times.

Procedures designed specifically for the cervical spine include:

 



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Understanding Radicular Pain

Understanding Radicular Pain

One of the most common symptoms we see patients for in pain management is radiculitis. Radicular pain or radiculitis is defined as, “pain “radiated” along the dermatome (sensory distribution) of a nerve due to inflammation or other irritation of the nerve root (radiculopathy) at its connection to the spinal column.” [Source: Wikipedia].

Down both sides of the spinal column are nerves that exit through holes in the bone of the spine these are called nerve roots. At each level of the spine these nerve roots branch out to different parts of our bodies. The nerve roots are susceptible to changes or damage to the spine, such damage results in the sensation of, sometimes severe, pain.

What is radicular pain?

Radiculitis, Radiculopathy, and Radicular Pain are not a diagnosis exactly but a description of a pain sensation caused by a pinched, compressed, inflamed or otherwise irritated nerve root. Common conditions that result in radicular pain include sciatica, lumbosacral spondylosis, degeneration of the lumbar spine and spinal stenosis.

Where is radiculitis felt?

radiating pain down the legsIt is common for radicular pain to be felt in the buttocks and legs as a shooting pain sensation, however radicular pain is not always due to problems in the lumbar spine or lower back.

Radicular pain is also extremely common in the cervical spine, known as cervical radiculopathy, this pain, due to pinched nerves in the neck, is sometimes caused by herniated or degenerative discs in the neck area resulting in pain, tingling or prickling sensations in the hand and down the arm.

How can radicilitis develop?

Spasm,  low trauma car accident such as a fender bender can result in damage to the nerve root causing radiating pains.

What can be done to treat radicular pain?

At Newbridge we often perform nerve block injections  to treat radicular pain. Nerve blocks are an injection of steroids and anesthetics that help heal the nerve and restore normal function. When a nerve block is successful in offering relief your specialist may suggest the longer lasting radiofrequency procedure.

In severe cases a patient may require surgery, if this is discovered during a procedure the patient will be referred to an appropriate surgeon.

 

 

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