If you’re suffering from back pain, neck pain, or any spine injury, learn how Dr. Derek Snook and JIS Orthopedics can help you get back to living your life without limits. To schedule a consultation, click the button below!

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What Our Patients Say

“I would just like to say thank you very much for helping me with my back issues and that you were all very pleasant and made me feel relaxed about the journey I’m going to have to have on my back. It is very appreciated and thank you so much.” — Jennifer D. 

Pinched nerves can cause debilitating pain. However, you do not have to endure this pain forever!

Our highly experienced specialists at JIS Orthopedics can provide the relief you need to help you feel more comfortable. Schedule an appointment with us at our New Albany or St. Clairsville, Ohio locations today!

What is Radiculopathy?

Radiculopathy is a condition characterized by pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness that can be felt in the arms or legs due to a compressed or pinched nerve in the spine. You can develop radiculopathy when one of your nerve roots (where your nerves meet your spinal column) is irritated or compressed.

Radiculopathy can affect anyone. However, it is more commonly seen in those who are over the age of 50. This condition is common. Most neck and back pain that is experienced is not typically caused by radiculopathy.

Various Types of Radiculopathies

There are three types of radiculopathies, and the type you have will depend on where the pinched nerve is located. The three types of radiculopathies include:

  1. Cervical radiculopathy (affecting the neck region where your nerves leave the spinal cord)
  2. Thoracic radiculopathy is the least common of the three (affecting the central region of your spine, including your upper back)
  3. Lumbar radiculopathy (affecting the lower back region)

How Does Radiculopathy Compare to Other Spine Conditions?

Similar to other spine conditions, radiculopathy does cause pain in your spine. However, there are some comparable differences.

For example, radiculopathy is a temporary condition caused by a pinched nerve root close to your spine and may go away without treatment. Whereas myelopathy is the compression of your spinal cord caused by trauma, degenerative disease, or a tumor. If left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to your nerves.

Spondylolysis is a weakness where the bones in your spine connect together, leading to spinal fractures. Radiculopathy can be caused by your bones moving out of place and not due to a broken bone.

What Causes Radiculopathy?

The most common cause of radiculopathy is a disc herniation (also referred to as herniated disc, ruptured or bulging discs) that puts pressure on one or more nerve roots and your spinal cord. Other causes include:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Bone spurs
  • Tumors
  • Injury to the spine from trauma or surgery
  • Lesion of your intervertebral discs

Radiculopathy Symptoms

Common radiculopathy symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area of the body

Depending on which nerve root is compressed, the symptoms will vary, and you can expect the following:

  • If cervical radiculopathy is present, these symptoms may be felt in your neck, shoulders, down one or both arms
  • If lumbar radiculopathy is present, symptoms may be felt in your lower back, down one or both legs. It may be difficult or uncomfortable to sit down. The pain may even make standing difficult.
  • If thoracic radiculopathy is present, you can expect these symptoms to occur in your ribs, side, and abdomen.

Sometimes radiculopathy symptoms may overlap with those of peripheral neuropathy (damage to your peripheral nervous system), making it difficult to pinpoint the exact source of the problem. Seeking the expertise of a medical professional can help provide a clear diagnosis.

Diagnosing Radiculopathy

To diagnose radiculopathy, a doctor will typically review your medical history and complete a physical exam. X-rays may be ordered. Additional imaging tests such as an MRI, or a CT scan may also be ordered to identify bone spurs and herniated discs pressing on your nerve roots and to confirm the diagnosis.

Electromyography may also be ordered. This test specifically helps your specialists to determine if your symptoms are being caused by pressure on your spinal nerve roots or if another condition has damaged your nerves.

Treating Radiculopathy

Non-surgical treatment is typically used to treat radiculopathy and relieve pain. These nonsurgical methods can include:


Additionally, adjusting your posture can also prove to be very beneficial in easing the symptoms associated with nerve compression.

In cases where the condition is severe and the affected nerve root does not respond to nonsurgical treatments, surgery may be recommended.

When Should I Seek Medical Attention?

If you experience any symptoms of radiculopathy, such as pain or numbness in your arms or legs, it is important to seek medical attention, especially if you notice that your symptoms are getting worse. A doctor can help determine what is causing the symptoms and provide appropriate treatment.

Radiculopathy can be a painful and debilitating condition, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, it’s possible to reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of your life. If you are in pain, schedule an appointment with our experts at JIS Orthopedics located in New Albany and St. Clairsville, OH today!

Medically reviewed by Derek Snook, MD

Seeing a Spine Specialist

Even if you follow steps to help protect your spine, injuries can still happen. When they do, schedule an appointment with Dr. Derek Snook at JIS Orthopedics! Scheduling an appointment earlier can help shorten your recovery and get you back to the thins you love.  We want to help you live without limits!


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