When you’re fishing and you get a bite, the fish pulls on the line and the action travels up to the pole, alerting you to start reeling it in. Similarly, when inflammation, compression, or an injury affects a spinal nerve root, the pain can radiate along the spine and into the extremities, alerting you that something is wrong. Called radicular pain, the discomfort can keep you from enjoying activities and even interfere with your day-to-day life. Understanding the condition and how it is effecting you can help to determine a treatment plan.
When Fun Has Gone Fishing
Down the entire length of your spine, nerves exit through holes in the bone on either side of the spinal column. Called nerve roots, or radicular nerves, they branch out into various parts of your body. In the cervical area, they travel to your arms, hands and fingers. That is why neck pain can sometimes cause symptoms in your hands or arms. This is referred to as radiculopathy. Nerves in the low back causing lumbar spine pain can radiate sensation into the legs and feet, a condition called sciatica; this is the most common form of radicular pain, and it’s not fun!
Casting the Causes
There are a number of reasons at the root of this problem. Conditions such as peridural fibrosis and foraminal stenosis can both result in the compression or inflammation of the nerves. The most common culprit, however, is a herniated disc. When a spinal disc herniates, the gelatinous center pushes outward until it breaks through its barrier. This can happen due to a sudden trauma or from wear and tear over time. The result is compressed spinal nerves that cause symptoms including pain, numbness, tingling, loss of reflexes, and muscle weakness. In the case of sciatica, pain can radiate down the sciatic nerve, into the thigh, calf, and all the way down to your foot. Luckily, there are some conservative measures you can take to ease your discomfort.
Trolling for Treatments
Resting from activities that aggravate the symptoms is the first step to relieving your pain. Medication and epidural steroid injections can help to alleviate discomfort too. Physical therapy exercises are recommended to stretch and strengthen muscles, increasing range of motion. We may use traction to manipulate mobility, as well as ultrasound therapy and massage treatments. If you are not finding any relief within 2 to 6 months and symptoms persist, decompressive surgery can be performed to take pressure off of the nerves.
Land Expert Foot Care
If you have radiating spine pain that is keeping you from enjoying activities in life, it could be the result of radiculopathy. Pull in some help from Castle Pines Physical Therapy. We can develop a program to help alleviate your symptoms and get you back to being mobile and feeling great. End your radicular pain by calling (303) 805-5156 or by visiting us in Castle Pines, CO. today. Dr. Jennifer Molner also serves the surrounding areas of Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, and Parker.
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