YOU are here : Home > Spine Disorders > Spinecare




Spine Disorders

  • By: ISA Content Team
  • Font Size: AA

Radiculopathy

TERMINOLOGY (SYNONYMS)

  • Pinched nerve
  • Compressed nerve
  • Spinal nerve damage
  • Sciatica


INTRODUCTION


The term radiculopathy refers to compromise of a spinal nerve root.  There are many conditions that can compromise a spinal nerve.  The signs and symptoms associated with a pinched spinal nerve (radiculopathy) include neck or back pain with spasms, numbness, radiating pain, and/or extremity weakness in the distribution of a nerve root.


The term radiculopathy refers to a disorder or disease involving a spinal nerve root or roots. The spinal nerve roots connect the nerves of the spinal cord with various areas of the body. Spinal nerve root compromise (radiculopathy) is often caused by direct compression of a nerve from a herniated disc or bony growth (bone spur/osteophyte). Degenerative disorders of the spine often contribute to the development of nerve root compression and resultant radiculopathy. It can occur anywhere in the spine where there are spinal nerve roots. This includes the neck (cervical spine), the mid back (thoracic spine) and low back (lumbar spine). Each spinal nerve connects with a specific skin region (dermatome), with specific muscles (myotome) and contributes to specific reflexes.


The spinal nerve roots are especially vulnerable to insult where they pass through openings (neuroforamen) along either side of the spine.  Radiculopathy is characterized by radiating pain, numbness and/or weakness from any pathology involving the spinal roots or spinal nerve. The term radiculitis also means spinal nerve compromise but more specifically it is compromise associated with an inflammatory process, thus the use of the suffix itis.


PREVALENCE



Radiculopathy occurs with equal prevalence in men and women. It is less often encountered in children or yond adults. In the neck (cervical spine) radiculopathy occurs more often at the levels of C5-6 (C6 radiculopathy) or at C6-67 (C7 radiculopathy).In the low back (lumbar spine) it occurs most often at the level of L4-5 (L5 radiculopathy) and at L5-S1 (L5 and/or S1 radiculopathy).



Educational Partners

To learn more about your spine. spinehealth, and available spinecare go to the International Spine Assocition (ISA) at www.spineinformation.org. The primary mission of the ISA is to improve spinehealth and spinecare through education. The ISA is committed to disseminating need-to-know information throught the World Wide Web in numerous languages covering many topics related to the spine, including information about spine disorders, spine heath, advances in technology and available spinecare



VIEW ALL DISCLAIMERS
All health information posted on the site is based on the latest research and national treatment standards, and have been written or reviewed and appoved by the American Acedemy of Spine Physicians and/or International Spine Association physicians or health professionals unless otherwise specified.



The information provided on this site is designed to support. not replace,
the relationship that exists between patient/site visitor and his/her physician.