Radicular Pain and Radiculopathy Definition | Back Pain and Neck Pain Medical Glossary

Radicular Pain and Radiculopathy Definition

Radicular pain is a type of pain that radiates into the lower extremity directly along the course of a spinal nerve root. Radicular pain is caused by compression, inflammation and/or injury to a spinal nerve root arising from common conditions including herniated disc, foraminal stenosis and peridural fibrosis. Leg pain can be accompanied by numbness and tingling, muscle weakness and loss of reflexes. The most common symptom of radicular pain is usually called sciatica or sometimes radiculopathy, which is pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve down the back of the thigh and sometimes into the calf and foot. Radicular pain can be effectively treated conservatively (non-surgically) with physical therapy, medications and epidural injections. If conservative treatments fail, decompressive surgery, such as a laminectomy or discectomy, may alleviate radicular pain.