Understanding Radiculopathy and Your Treatment Options

Do you have intense burning pain in your back, arms, legs, or shoulders? Perhaps your arms or legs even feel weak or numb. These are common symptoms of radiculopathy

Apollo Pain Management, located in Sun City Center, Florida, is devoted to personalized treatment of your pain. We get to the root cause and start effective treatment quickly. With today’s modern medical treatments, you can once again enjoy a better quality of life. We treat many cases of radiculopathy. 

What is radiculopathy? 

Radiculopathy is the medical term for what you know as a pinched nerve. Radiculopathy is most common in the neck or lumbar area of your spine but can also occur in the thoracic, or upper, portion of your back. 

Your back contains individual vertebrae, or spinal bones protected by discs that prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. The spinal cord, which extends through the center of the bones, contains nerve roots that wind through the vertebrae and out into your body. Sometimes the discs become damaged from an accident or other injury. They can bulge or herniate and put pressure on a nerve root, compressing it. The result: a pinched nerve.  

Why do I have radiculopathy? 

You can develop a pinched nerve from many conditions. A herniated disc, osteoarthritis, bone spurs, scoliosis, and spinal stenosis can all result in a pinched nerve. In those scenarios, the spinal canal has likely narrowed at a certain point, placing too much pressure on a nerve root. Poor posture and being overweight can even contribute to a pinched nerve. 

Treatment options for radiculopathy

Many cases of a pinched nerve can be treated nonsurgically. The treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the location. 

Medication/ice/heat

Anti-inflammatory prescription drugs or muscle relaxants may be prescribed to calm the irritated nerve. 

Physical therapy/specific exercises  

We may recommend specific exercises to increase your range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding the damaged nerve. Ice and/or heat may also be applied as recommended by our staff. 

Recommendations we make on improving your posture, adding core strength exercises and activities to help you maintain flexibility can help prevent an attack in the future. 

Epidural steroid injection

An epidural steroid injection may provide relief from nerve pain located in your back or leg. The medication goes around the nerve in the epidural space between the nerve and the spinal cord. 

Spinal cord stimulation 

If your pain is severe and other treatments haven’t helped, your expert Apollo Pain Management staff can determine if spinal cord stimulation (SCS) can help you. SCS is an excellent choice to treat pain from a pinched or injured nerve. The device, implanted under your skin and which you control with a remote, stops nerve signals from reaching the brain where you would experience them as pain. You can test the system first before the device is implanted to see if the degree of relief warrants implantation.

Ask your primary care physician to refer you to Apollo Pain Management for expert treatment of your painful condition.

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