What is Radiculopathy? – Symptoms & Treatment Options

written radiculopathy medical diagnosis on a paper with pills and a pen

A common occurrence that most people have experienced at one point is a pinched nerve. Whether it be from sleeping wrong, bending poorly, or an improper movement, that sharp electric feeling is not uncommon. In some situations, however, the symptoms could feel a little more extreme. Many providers out there tend to take a medication approach but there are other options that don’t require surgery or medications. Let’s first understand what is radiculopathy.

What Is It?

Radiculopathy is when one or more nerves in a specific area become compressed. This can be a result of a disc bulge, inflammation, degeneration of the discs, osteoarthritis, and more.

cropped shot of a runner's leg experiencing radiculopathy pain

Radiculopathy Symptoms

The symptoms can look like pain and numbness that most often shoots down the arm or leg, depending on where the nerves have been compressed. Often the limb will also feel weak and abnormal. Symptoms like this can seem scary, but there are options that can provide relief and alleviate symptoms.

The Options for Radiculopathy Treatment

Decompression Therapy

female patient having spinal decompression

Decompression therapy is one of the most effective treatments for radiculopathy. This non-surgical option is done by utilizing traction to open the compressed area. While this can take a few sessions to see results, in some cases results are seen right away.

By slowly stretching and releasing the area of compression, the nerves which were not previously able to function properly are able to. Decompression is a relaxing way to find results from radiculopathy.

Chiropractic Care

cropped image of a chiropractor's hand adjusting a female patient's back

Chiropractic adjustments are another great option to provide relief from radicular symptoms. The adjustment relieves tension and pain in the surrounding area and increases the range of motion in the joint. This allows the compressed area to release and reduce the symptoms of the compressed nerve.

The adjustment will also provide general pain relief in the area and can quicken the healing process. For radiculopathy, in particular, the best results are seen when the adjustments are paired with decompression.

Therapeutic Massage

If the radiculopathy is due to a muscle knot or spasm, therapeutic massage can provide quick relief. Massage therapists are trained to feel for areas of tightness and spasm and can work through the stressed muscle until it relaxes and releases. While it may take more than one session, therapeutic massages are a great option for radicular symptoms due to muscular problems.

Stretch and Exercise

male senior stretching while on an exercise ball supported by a female therapist

There are stretches and exercises that are specified for radiculopathy, and, when partnered with chiropractic care, can provide quicker and more effective results. Your chiropractor can create a specified list of stretches and exercises for your individual case.

Having remedies to utilize at home is a great option for quick relief. Providing movement to the compressed area is one of the best things to do to speed up the healing process and lessen the chances of reinjury in the future.

Free Yourself from Radiculopathy

Although radicular symptoms can seem daunting, there are great options to take advantage of that can provide relief. Chiropractors work with radiculopathy often and are comfortable with creating a proper treatment plan specific to everyone’s needs.

By combining treatment options that we provide at Health In Motion Chiropractic, results will come quickly and be most effective.

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