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Radicular Syndrome

Submitted by on November 27, 2009 – 1:48 amNo Comment




Radicular syndrome arises due to compression or irritation of the nerve roots. The nerve roots are branching of the spinal cord that transmits signals throughout the body at every level along the spine.

Radicular Syndrome Causes:

Radicular syndrome is mostly due to direct pressure arising due to a herniated disc or variations due to degeneration in the spine that lead to irritated and inflamed sensation of the nerve roots.

Radicular Syndrome Symptoms:

  • Radicular syndrome leads to pain and other signs like lack of sensation, tingling and a sense of weakness felt in the upper or lower regions of the body like the arms or legs.
  • Sensory-related symptoms are more prevalent as compared to motor-related symptoms, and muscular weakness is generally an indicator of the increased severity of nerve compression.
  • The nature and kind of pain could differ ranging from dulling, throbbing pain and complex to localize, and even sharp-shooting and burning sensation could be felt.

Diagnosis & Tests:

  • The accurate diagnosis of the reason behind the symptoms surfacing starts with a comprehensive physical examination of the upper body like the neck, back, arms and the lower extremities.
  • The doctor would search for any difficulties faced with litheness, muscular strength, feeling and reflexes.
  • X-rays could be suggested for showing the skeletal anatomy of the spine.
  • A Magnetic Imaging Resonance (MRI) scan is beneficial in revealing nerve root compression by proffering an in-depth imaging of soft tissue composition.
  • A CT or CAT or computerised tomography scan is mostly employed for evaluating the skeletal anatomy in the spine that could reveal the amount of space existing for the nerve roots and spinal cord inside the spinal canal.
  • In case of those diagnosed in their early stages or facing mild symptoms, imaging studies would not be needed.

Radicular Syndrome Treatment:

  • The prevalent non-invasive treatment choices for majority of patients with no proof of considerable muscle weakness due to nerve root compression are physical therapy, chiropractic manoeuvring, patient instruction and being given a course of NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Epidural steroid shots could be administered in severe conditions.
  • Muscle weakness is a niggling indicator of nerve root compression. Nerve testing – EMG or electromyography could be suggested for neutrally testing the nerve-muscle link problem, especially when strength testing is restricted by pain.
  • In case a patient is ailing from tangible nerve damage, surgery could be suggested for allaying the pressure being exerted on the nerves.
  • In other cases, surgery could be performed in case no non-operative treatment choices have proven beneficial in improving the symptoms.
  • It is imperative that one discusses the varied treatment choices with one’s doctor for finalising what treatment is most appropriate.

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