Radiculitis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
Radiculitis, or radicular pain, is a transferred pain that is discharged along the path of a nerve branching out from the spine. The pain is felt due to pressure on the nerve root at the point of its connection to the spinal column. This pressure on a nerve that causes radicular pain is connected to inflammation and can be caused by several conditions, like herniated disc or osteoarthritis. With cervical radiculitis and lumbar radiculitis, where the spinal nerves branch out to the arms and legs, radicular pain can be felt all the way to the feet and palms.
Down the length of the spine, nerves exit through holes in the bone of the spine called foramen. These nerves branching out of the spinal column are called nerve roots, or radicular nerves. They open up from the spine and go along different parts of our body. Nerves that exit the cervical spine travel down through the arms, hands, and fingers. That means that issues affecting nerve roots in this area can radiate pain through your arms and hands – radiculopathy. Low back issues affecting lumbar nerve roots can release pain through your leg and foot – also known as sciatica (sciatica stretches).
As there is no spinal cord in the lumbar spine and the spinal canal is more spacious in the low back, complications and injuries in this region usually cause nerve root problems, not spinal cord injury. Even large disc herniation or fractures in the low back are less likely to cause permanent paralysis than further up the spine.