A Brief Overview of Radiculopathy Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Radiculopathy pic RaKerry Rahman, MD, serves as a clinical assistant professor of spinal surgery at Southern Illinois University and treats patients as a cervical spine and scoliosis specialist at the Springfield Clinic, LLP. A skilled medical professional, Dr. Ra’Kerry Rahman has extensive experience treating a range of conditions, including radiculopathy.

Radiculopathy is a spinal condition caused by compressed or irritated nerve roots that produces mild to severe pain and numbness in the legs and arms. Although the condition can affect any part of the spine, it most commonly occurs in the neck and lower back. Some patients also experience radiculopathy in the middle of the spine, but that is fairly uncommon.

There are a number of conditions that can compress spinal nerves and cause radiculopathy, including herniated discs and scoliosis. Obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and pregnancy can also increase one’s risk for radiculopathy, especially in individuals 30 to 50 years old.

The good news for patients with radiculopathy is that they can typically improve their symptoms within six weeks to three months through conservative treatments, such as rest, medication, and physical therapy. In rare cases, however, these conservative treatments are ineffective and surgery may be needed to fully relieve pressure from the affected nerve.