The symptoms of radiculopathy can be painful and vary based on the region of the spine, or specific vertebra, affected by the condition. Those suffering from radiculopathy may experience the following signs.
- Referred pain into the upper or lower extremities often accompanies back or neck pain. Referred pain can be the initial symptom of radiculopathy caused by a compressed nerve root stemming from a ruptured disc or stenosis caused by bone spurs.
- Radicular pain is described as sharp or even shock-like pain and may be associated with certain activities or positions.
- Sensory changes are also often seen with complaints of tingling and numbness being very common.
- Motor function weakness is also seen when nerve roots are compressed from stenosis.
Symptoms of Radiculopathy in the Cervical Spine
Cervical radiculopathy can present acute pain, as with a traumatic ruptured disc, or can present pain of a more chronic and intermittent nature, as is seen in foraminal narrowing caused by bone spurs in the spine.
Typically, cervical radiculopathy affects the inferior nerve root at C5, C6 and C7 levels.
C5 Radiculopathy Symptoms
- Deltoid weakness
- Pain in the shoulder and the upper part of the lateral arm
- Paresthesias in the more distal part of the affected dermatome
C6 Radiculopathy Symptoms
- Biceps or brachioradialis weakness
- Paresthesias and frank sensory loss: more distal, and can extend into the hand
C7 Radiculopathy Symptoms
- Pain extending into the distal forearm or hand
- Root compression produces triceps weakness and a decreased triceps reflex
- Sensory loss in the hand
Symptoms of Lumbar Radiculopathy
Lumbar radiculopathy is a classic syndrome of lower lumbar nerve root compression. Symptoms include:
- Low back pain that may or may not have been associated with some sort of trauma and is commonly antecedent to the onset of leg pain by days to a few weeks.
- Motor weakness is also seen, but can be missed if dynamic testing is not done.
S1 Radiculopathy Symptoms
- Pain down the back of the leg and into the heel or foot.
- Sensory loss, usually over the lateral aspect of the foot.
- A loss of the Achilles reflex, specific to S1.
The Bonati Spine Institute encourages patients with radiculopathy to contact us to request a no-obligation MRI review or discuss your conditions with our medical professionals. Find out why The Bonati Spine Procedures are considered to be among the world’s best solutions when it comes to advanced spine surgery. Your pain from radiculopathy can become a thing of the past.