Radiculopathy is a mechanical, compressive, or metabolic condition that has caused pain to the nerve root in the back or neck.
The suffering of this nerve is then transmitted along the entire innervation territory of the involved nerve, and the patient will perceive certain symptomatology in that whole district.
This situation is much more frequent than what is thought and represents one of the significant causes of back pain or neck pain that forces many people to take time off from the workplace and is one of the major causes of temporary and non-temporary disability of the modern era. The most affected areas are the lumbar area (lumbar radiculopathy) or the cervical area (cervical radiculopathy).
Causes of Radiculopathy
Let’s now see what are the most common causes that can induce radiculopathy.
- Disc problems ( hernias or protrusions )
- Vertebral dysfunctions
- rheumatoid arthritis
- Presence of osteophytes
- Thickening of nearby ligaments
Symptoms of a Radiculopathy
The symptoms of radiculopathy are varied and of different intensity, which are:
- Radiated pain (or pain in the arm or pain in the leg)
- Altered sensitivity
- Electric shocks
- Alteration of osteotendinous reflexes
- Functional or muscular impotence
- Neurological deficits
- Difficulty sleeping
Conservative treatment for Radiculopathy
We now come to talk about what can be done in the case of radiculopathy and how it is necessary to approach this kind of condition.
In the first instance, it is essential to perform a physiotherapy evaluation with a specialist like Dr. Munish Lal, to frame the problem and evaluate how it is good to approach this kind of case. Yes, because it is often thought that the treatment for a person with a nerve root irritation is the same for everyone. It is not sure that the various therapies are always suitable for all people; the therapeutic approach must always be individualized.
In fact, when we talk about the conservative treatment, we mean a gentle but decisive approach that allows the patient to recover from the various symptoms already manifested; it must be interpreted as a path that must be taken seriously by the patient, who will solve the problem without resorting to surgical treatment.
As has now been shown at a scientific and international level, conservative treatment is much more indicated in the resolution of patients with problems related to nerve roots. In addition to being proven, the patient’s active participation throughout the therapeutic process is fundamental to healing.
Techniques for the treatment of Radiculopathy
The types of therapeutic approach and the sequence of intervention that must be implemented in the various patients with radiculopathy are:
Functional evaluation: Evaluating the body structure well, if there are areas of neurological alteration or muscle hyperactivation, is important in order to properly frame the therapeutic path and personalize the physiotherapy treatment as much as possible.
Lumbar manipulation to release the sciatic nerve and lower back muscles
Manipulative treatment: As has now been established at the level of the most important international medical portals, in cases of disorders that link a condition to the spine and its spinal nerves, the manipulative treatment of the various vertebrae can lead to great benefit in the short and long term. In fact, through the impulse to “crack” the neck, it is possible to interrupt the pain mechanism and induce muscle and pain relaxation in the patient.
Osteopathic treatment according to the Strain Counterstrain technique: This technique is based on the concept of indirect treatment, i.e., through the positioning of the segment or muscle in maximum shortening in the direction of the dysfunction; with a 90-second hold in the position, a series of neurological and physiological effects are created in which the treated district is completely reset. Furthermore, there is a rapid disappearance of the problem, having acted at the root of the problem. This effect occurs in all body segments and has the ability to instantly improve the patient’s symptoms, who also do not feel any kind of pain during treatment.
Mechanical fibrinolysis: In the event that it is necessary to perform a segmental release of the musculature, this technique comes to the rescue in an exceptional way. Through work on the connective tissue and muscle fibers, it is possible to treat all those muscular dysfunctions connected to radiculopathy.
Mulligan technique: The great experience of the Mulligan technique is reflected in a series of pathologies and, with regard to radiculopathies, these find great help in the implementation of a joint technique. Through a completely asymptomatic repositioning of the articular surfaces for the patient, the patient no longer experiences any kind of discomfort.
Mezieres postural re-education: In cases where the patient has some discopathy, this technique is certainly one of the most suitable for correcting all postural dysfunctions and freeing the nerve root in the best possible way. This technique, in fact, through the maintenance of certain postures and with adequate breathing, favors a stretching of the muscles “from head to toe” in the literal sense. It also helps because it performs a real decoaction of the various vertebrae and therefore reduces irritation of the nerve root.
Cervical pompage: In cervical radiculopathy, cervical pompage is undoubtedly helpful in relieving tension in the district. By maintaining the lengthening of the cervical spine, it is possible to induce a significant improvement on the stretch; this happens because the nerve root that is compressed receives a stimulus of relaxation and less irritation/compression. All this leads the patient to feel much better and to have less pain in the neck.
Combining over 18 years of experience, Dr. Munish Lal specializes in minimally invasive techniques to treat spinal pain that includes intervention procedures, spinal cord stimulation, and a comprehensive array of traditional pain management services.
His expertise ranges from diagnosing complicated and rare cases to pinpointing the source of back, neck, and other chronic pain conditions. He is a leading practitioner of state-of-the-art techniques. Call now to book your appointment!