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Differential Diagnosis of Radicular Pain.

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

What is Radicular pain?

The human spinal cord is made up of vertebrae (a collection of many bones), and it runs through a canal in the middle of these bones.

The Nerve roots separate from the spinal cord and travel between the vertebrae into different parts of the body, but due to the shifting and changing of the size of these nerve roots, the foramina (openings from where the nerve roots travel inside the spine or exit the spine), becomes narrow.

And as a result, the nerve roots because of inflammation and compression become damaged or pinched and this all leads to pain in the buttock area, leg, below the knees, hips, spine, and weak muscles, etc.

Radicular pain is nowadays a common problem in almost everyone, in India alone, and is often misunderstood as frozen shoulder pain (for upper extremity), or knee pain (for lower extremity). It is one of the common reasons behind people visiting physiotherapists or general physician clinics.

What are the Causes of Radicular pain?

A variety of factors causes radicular pain, also known as Radiculopathy and some of the causes are below :

Bone Spurs - Bone spurs are tiny bony growths that develop in the bone's joints, wherever the cartilage has become thin, or maybe the damage can be caused because of osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. And all of these lead to nerve inflammation and pain in the neck and the lower back area.

Spondylolisthesis - Many times the vertebrae fall off from their place and slip into the vertebrae below it.