Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs through the center of your vertebrae. Some nerves split off from the cord and travel between your vertebrae.
Radiculopathy, more commonly known as sciatica, is a painful condition that occurs when one of these nerves is pinched or inflamed. Depending on where the nerve is located in your spine, you may feel shooting pain in your upper body (cervical radiculopathy), down your shoulders and arms, or in your lower body (lumbar radiculopathy or sciatica) with shooting pain down your buttocks and/or legs.
Sciatica can strike at any age; however, your risk increases as you get older. Over time, your bones may become weaker, or your discs (the cushions between your vertebrae), slide out of place. These problems can all put pressure on your nerves.
The most common cause of radiculopathy is inflammation around a herniated or bulging disc that is irritating the nerve down your leg. However, it can also be caused by:
If you have radiculopathy, you may experience symptoms in either your upper body or lower body. Your symptoms may include:
These symptoms can impede your ability to perform even simple daily tasks like walking or reaching. If you have these symptoms, know that you don’t have to live in pain. You can make an appointment with a trusted spine care physician to explore your treatment options.
When you visit The Spine Care Center, your physician will try to uncover the root cause of your pain. To diagnose radiculopathy, your physician will ask you about your pain, such as where it is located, when and how it started, and if the pain radiates through any of your extremities. They will also perform a physical exam.
If your doctor suspects that you are suffering from radiculopathy, they may also suggest an MRI or CT scan. These noninvasive imaging tests can help diagnose or rule out other causes of your pain.
At The Spine Care Center, most of our patients achieve long-term pain relief without spine surgery. Our expert spine physicians use a unique, patient-centered approach to ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.
We strive to help you remain comfortable throughout your care with us. We’ll begin your treatment with:
These techniques are safe and will be personalized to your specific needs. Our team always follows up after any intervention to make sure that your are making progress toward a pain-free life.
Take the first step toward lasting back and neck pain relief. Call The Spine Care Center in Manassas at (703) 257-2266 or request an appointment online.