Radiculitis Symptoms and Causes

Radiculitis symptoms start off with radicular pain (pain that is felt down the pathway of the nerve that is affected by its origin in the spine). The pain is also usually accompanied with sensations of numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Pain and other symptoms if the early stages tend to be mild in nature, but increase in seriousness if the condition is left untreated. It is important to see a doctor about your symptoms so that he or she can rule out other conditions. Early treatment of radiculitis is essential for a full recovery.

Cervical Radiculitis Symptoms

  • Local neck pain
  • Pain that flows down the arm(s) and into the hands.
  • Numbness in the arms, hands, and fingers.
  • Muscular weakness in the arms if left untreated.
  • Pain may also be felt in the shoulders or chest depending on which nerve is affected.

Lumbar Radiculitis Symptoms

  • Local lower back pain.
  • Pain that flows down the leg(s) and into the feet.
  • Numbness felt in the leg(s) and possibly in the feet/toes.
  • Muscular weakness if left untreated.
  • Burning pain in the hips.

If your skin becomes very sensitive to touch, or you notice that your muscles are getting weaker, you may be in early stages of nerve damage; this will worsen if the radiculitis is not treated and allowed to progress. As radiculitis symptoms progress even further, loss of muscle tissue and even nerve death may occur. Radicular pain can be quite debilitating; you do not need to live with it anymore.

The Causes of Radiculitis

Any condition that has the potential to compress a spinal nerve could be one of the many causes of radiculitis. Disc herniations, bone spurs (osteophytes), and thickening of surrounding ligaments are the most common causes. Other conditions that may cause radiculitis include spinal stenosis, damaged intervertebral discs, degeneration of the spine, and spinal instabilities such as spondylolisthesis or scoliosis.