spinal column

Radicular Pain

Radicular (radiating) pain occurs when a spinal nerve is compressed (“pinched”). This type of pain radiates from your back, traveling along the spinal nerve. Depending on where on the spine the radicular pain originates, it can result in arm pain, pain around the chest, or leg pain. If you have ever had radicular pain, you know how miserable, and even disabling, it can be. Whether you are now experiencing radicular pain on a regular or sporadic basis, contact the accomplished physiatrists at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine to find relief.

We Specialize in Relieving Pain and Restoring Function

Our physiatrists are physicians trained to restore function and alleviate pain. We have a history of successfully treating patients who suffer from radicular pain and we are eager to treat you and restore your quality of life. Contact one of our five conveniently located offices on Long Island for a correct diagnosis of what is causing your radicular pain and a discussion of which methods will work best to dispel it.

Types of Radicular Pain

There are three types of radicular pain, each named for the section of the spinal column it affects:

  1. Cervical radicular pain occurs when a nerve in the neck is compressed, resulting in pain in the neck and shoulder, and muscle weakness and numbness that travels down the arm into the hand. Cervical radicular pain is often described as sharp or burning and can be worsened by turning the head or extending the neck.
  2. Thoracic radicular pain is the least common type of radiculopathy. It occurs when a nerve in the upper back is pinched. In this case, although the pinched nerve is in the back, the symptoms are most often present in the front of the body. Thoracic radicular pain is frequently felt in and around the chest, particularly when the patient inhales and exhales.
  3. Lumbar radicular pain occurs in the lower region of the spine and is associated with sciatic pain, the most common type of radiculopathy. It radiates down the back of the leg and sometimes into the foot. Sciatic pain is frequently deep and steady, restricting movement, and interfering even with simple activities, like sitting or walking. Patients with sciatica report pain that stretches from the back to the buttocks and down the legs.

Symptoms of Radiculopathy

The symptoms of radiculopathy vary from patient to patient. They may be described as:

  • Pain, tingling, or numbness in the buttocks and legs or fingers and hand
  • Muscle weakness in the leg and foot or shoulder and arm
  • Excruciating, burning, or stinging pain down the leg or arm
  • Lack of mobility, as well as weakness, of the leg or arm
  • Pain associated with neck movement 

Causes of Radicular Pain

The causes of radicular pain are also diverse and may include:

  • Stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal cord that typically stems from bone spurs or arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis and the wear and tear of aging
  • Herniated discs due to accidental injury or osteoarthritis 
  • Diabetes (usually with sudden onset)
  • Scar tissue overgrowth after spinal surgery
  • Spondylosis, pain, and degeneration of the spine
  • Bone spurs (osteophytes), overgrowths of bone in the spinal column 

We Provide Accurate Diagnosis and Effective Treatment of Radicular Pain

Our doctors have extensive experience in diagnosing and healing radicular pain. We will use top-tier diagnostic equipment to find the source of your problem and then provide you with a broad range of therapeutic options. For your benefit, we offer both traditional methods, like physical therapy with electric stimulation and facet injections of corticosteroids, and complementary methods like acupuncture and platelet-rich plasma injections.

Contact Our Capable, Compassionate Doctors Today

Our professionals are dedicated to giving you the best possible nonsurgical care. If you have a severe injury or malformation, we will refer you to a surgical colleague, but in most cases, radicular pain can be well-treated with our wide range of minimally invasive treatments, sparing you the high cost and prolonged recovery of an operation. Contact us now to feel better quickly.