Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is a common condition that results in sensation changes and/or pain into an extremity due to irritation or entrapment of the nerve root as it leaves the spinal cord through the spine. This can occur anywhere in the spine but is most commonly seen in the neck (cervical spine) or in the low back (lumbar). Radiculopathy can start secondary to spinal disc degeneration, osteoarthritis, joint degeneration, or direct trauma such as car accidents, etc.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

  • Weakness in their affected limb
  • Numbness and/or tingling, and pain in involved extremity (distribution of symptoms will correspond to which nerve is affected)

HOW CAN PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP?

At your evaluation, your physical therapist will determine where the nerve is being impinged and irritated in order to determine appropriate treatment. Depending on which nerve is involved, your treatment may include joint mobilizations and soft tissue mobilization to reduce compression on the nerve, stretches to restore normal spinal movement, functional strengthening, and postural training to reduce irritation of the nerve. Your PT will provide you with a home exercise program to optimize your recovery.

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