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Phoenix Radiculopathy Treatment

Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is an irritation of the roots of the nerves in the spine, usually resulting in pain, numbness or weakness. Often referred to as a “pinched nerve”, radiculopathy symptoms vary depending on the location of the affected nerve. Symptoms  from radiculopathy can range from mild to severe, and if it occurs in the leg, it can impair your ability to walk, travel or carry out simple day-to-day tasks.

 

Symptoms of Radiculopathy

The most common form of radiculopathy is lumbar radiculopathy, which affects the low back. It can cause pain, muscle weakness and/or numbness in the hip, buttock, or leg. Lumbar radiculopathy may cause a shooting pain through the leg called sciatica.

Cervical radiculopathy occurs in the neck and usually results in pain that radiates into the neck, arm, chest, shoulders and/or upper back. Cervical radiculopathy may also create weakness, numbness and/or tingling in the fingers or hands.

Thoracic radiculopathy is uncommon. When nerve roots in the upper back are irritated, it can result in symptoms that are often misdiagnosed, such as a burning or shooting pain in the ribs, side or abdomen.The pain may start in the middle back and wrap around to the chest.

 

What causes radiculopathy?

Because radiculopathy is pain associated with an irritated nerve root, it is usually a symptom of another problem. Common spine conditions that can result in radiculopathy include spinal and/or foraminal stenosis, disc herniation, bone spurs (osteophytes) and spondylolisthesis.

Treatment for radiculopathy

 

Pain, weakness and numbness associated with radiculopathy are very treatable. Treatment usually begins with conservative, non-surgical measures such as physical therapy, possibly in conjunction with medications to manage pain and reduce inflammation.

In moderate to severe cases, epidural injections can help to reduce inflammation and swelling around nerves, consequently relieving pain.

Phoenix Radiculopathy Treatment

 

If you’re suffering from radiculopathy or a “pinched nerve,” the associated pain can be unbearable. Fortunately, there are various radiculopathy treatments we offer at our Phoenix-area practice, and certain treatments may be able to greatly enhance your quality of life, potentially avoiding permanent nerve damage.

With both surgical and nonsurgical treatments available for radiculopathy, your treatment plan will be driven by you and your doctor for the therapy that is least invasive. Dr. Baig will start with nonsurgical treatment recommendations first, moving on to surgery only if a minimally invasive procedure is ineffective.

Here in our Arizona radiculopathy treatment center, we treat patients that are suffering from all types of radiculopathy, including cervical radiculopathy (neck), lumbar radiculopathy (lower back) and thoracic radiculopathy (mid or upper back). Whether you have chronic or acute forms of radiculopathy, we’ll help give you the treatment you need to overcome even the most complicated radiculopathy cases, as well as helping you to recover and get back to your favorite activities.

Our Phoenix Radiculopathy Treatments

Luckily, many radiculopathy types can successfully be treated via nonsurgical options. That’s great for those that don’t want to undergo surgery, though the approach does depend on your exact symptoms. Sometimes even physical therapy can work, helping to strengthen the muscles in the back and core to give better support to the spine. 

But if that’s insufficient, medications can be prescribed by our Phoenix radiculopathy specialists, such as muscle relaxers, pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs to help manage the pain and inflammation commonly associated with radiculopathy. 

The next level of treatment beyond medications is an oral or injected steroid that can help reduce swelling and inflammation precisely at the nerve root. Sometimes a combination of the three can help, and you may also be advised to change your activities if there’s a behavioral reason for the pain. 

If all else fails, and if Dr. Baig recommends it, you may qualify for radiculopathy surgery where the tissue constricting the nerve root is physically removed. This can include the removal of a herniated disc or opening the area around the nerve root, though sometimes a spinal fusion may be needed to stabilize the spine.