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Radiculopathy
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 G54, M541
ICD-9 723.4, 724.4, 729.2
DiseasesDB 29522
MeSH D011843

Radiculopathy refers to a set of conditions in which one or more nerves are affected and do not work properly (a neuropathy). The emphasis is on the nerve root (radix = "root"). This can result in pain (radicular pain), weakness, numbness, or difficulty controlling specific muscles.[1]

In a radiculopathy, the problem occurs at or near the root of the nerve, along the spine. However, the pain or other symptoms often radiate to the part of the body served by that nerve. For example, a nerve root impingement in the neck can produce pain and weakness in the forearm. Likewise, an impingement in the lower back or lumbar-sacral spine can be manifested with symptoms in the foot.

Polyradiculopathy refers to the condition where more than one spinal nerve root is affected.

CausesEdit

Affected nerves may be inflamed, pinched (compressed), or working ineffectively due to a lack of blood flow. The nerve could be affected by a progressive disease that is destroying it in part or in whole. Additionally, pinched nerves can be caused by excessive pressure caused by surrounding bones, muscle, cartilage, and tendons.[2] The "straight leg raise test" is often used to diagnose a lumbar or sacral nerve root radiculopathy.[3]

TypesEdit

Forms of radiculopathy and related conditions:

TreatmentEdit

Ideally, effective treatment aims to resolve the underlying cause and restores the nerve root to normal function. Common mainstream treatment approaches include physical therapy, medication, and relaxation. A comprehensive systematic review found moderate quality evidence that spinal manipulation is effective for the treatment of acute lumbar radiculopathy. Only low level evidence was found to support spinal manipulation for the treatment of chronic lumbar and cervical spine-related radiculopathies, and no evidence was found to exist for treatment of thoracic radiculopathy.[4]

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  1. Eck, Jason C. Radiculopathy. MedicineNet.com. URL accessed on 12 April 2012.
  2. What Is Pinched Nerve In Neck?. Pinched Nerve In Neck. URL accessed on 12 April 2012.
  3. Seated or Supine Straight Leg Raise Test: Does It Matter?. Orthopod. URL accessed on 12 April 2012.
  4. Leininger B, Bronfort G, Evans R, Reiter T (2011). Spinal manipulation or mobilization for radiculopathy: a systematic review. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 22 (1): 105–125.

External linksEdit

Template:Dorsopathies

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