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Doctors use the term radiculopathy to specifically describe pain, and other symptoms likenumbness, tingling, and weakness in your arms or legs that are caused by a problem with your nerve roots. The nerve roots are branches of the spinal cord that carry signals to the rest of the body at each level along the spine. This term comes from a combination of the Latin word “radix,” which means the roots of a tree, and the Latin word “pathos,” whichmeans a disease. This disease is often caused by direct pressure from a herniated disc or degenerative changes in the lumbar 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 skin supplied the by sensory fibers of the nerve root,
and weakness in the muscles that are also supplied by the same nerve root. The number of roots that are involved can vary, from one to several, and it can also affect both sides of the body at the same time.

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  • Sciatia

  • muscle weakness

  • dull, aching, or sharp pain

  • hypersensitivity to the touch

  • Numbness in the area of the skin

Symptoms such as numbness and tingling, and
especially weakness in your leg muscles in the presence of back pain are warning signs
that your problem may be more serious and you should see a doctor.

To learn more about this condition, download the printable PDF

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