Under Radiculopathy we understand inflammation or irritation of the nerve roots of the spinal nerves. This inflammation or irritation feels on the length of the nerve, which depends on the type of the nerve , if it is sensory or combinative type, the feelings are different.
The roots of the spinal nerves could be affected from pathologies in the spine such as:
- Discs herniations. That is the most common reason – root symptoms
- Spondylosis changes or abnormal situated vertebrae towards each other
- Osteophytosis known as “exostoses”
- Traumas around the vertebraes – fracture of vertebraes , car accidents (whiplash) and others
Depending on the place of rise the symptoms are variating. We will observe here the three areas of the spine – cervical, thoracic and lumbar.
- Cervical radiculitis affects the head, the neck, the shoulder and the hand. When a sensory nerve is affected, you could feel tingle, pain on the length of the nerve, increased sensitivity with contact. When the nerve is a combinative type, the feeling is same as the upper symptoms, and could also observe increased muscle weakness and hypotrophy in the muscles, that are inervated from the same nerve.
- Thoracic or pectoral radiculitis. Very often symptom, which is typical for this area is a sharp pain with inhale or stabbing pain in the pecs area. Usually it affects one side – left or right.Often , when this is the left side , the patient thinks that it is a heart problem.
- Lumbar – sacral radiculitis. It affects the lumbar area, often there are symptoms connected with the pelvis and the leg. Again we could observe tingle – paresthesia, muscle weakness, hypotrophy of some muscles or paresis.
The diagnosis could be established because of different kind of examinations, obligatory are images of the spine – Xray, Scanner or MRI.
The physiotherapy is oriented towards decreasing the inflammation, improving the mobility in the specific area and decompression in the nerve roots, therefore with exercises and stretching we could stabilize, strengthen the muscles and prevent future problems.