What Is Radiculopathy?
Nerve roots are the paired bundles of nerve fibers that extend from the spinal cord through openings on the side of each vertebra. The nerves that extend from each area of the spinal cord are connected to specific parts of the body. Those in the cervical spine, for example, extend to the upper chest and arms; those in the lumbar spine the hips, buttocks and legs. The nerves also carry electrical signals back to the brain, creating sensations.
Radiculopathy is often caused by direct pressure from a herniated disc or degenerative changes in the spine that cause irritation and inflammation of the nerve roots. Radiculopathy usually creates a pattern of pain and numbness that is felt in your arms or your legs in the area of the skin that’s supplied the by the sensory fibers of the nerve root, and weakness in the muscles that are also supplied by the same nerve root.