Radiculopathy

Did you ever have pain in your toes or fingers but nothing actually seems to be wrong with your toes or fingers?  Or numbness?  Or weakness?  Or tingling?  I’m going to explain why this can happen in the orthopedic realm but in the neurologic realm I don’t think that I, nor anyone else, knows a damn thing.  You know how people will say “I have a pinched nerve in my neck?”  Or back?  This is what that means.  The spinal column is made up of (usually) 24 bones that look like this

Single%20Lumbar%20Bone%20with%20Labels%20copy%20250stacked on top of one another.  In between every bone is an intervertebral disc that is soft and mushy and looks like this.

Single%20Lumbar%20Disc%20with%20Labels%20copy%20250  So when all of these are stacked up, you get the spine(vertebral column) and it looks like this.Full%20Spine%20with%20Labels%20copy%20250

Sometimes the discs rupture a little bit or rupture a lot – or there doesn’t have to be a rupture, sometimes the disc just bulges – and then all kinds of crap from the inside of the disc comes out and puts pressure on a nerve.  The spinal cord is encased within this vertebral column and at every level of the bones down your spine, the spinal cord shoots off some nerves.  Nerves control everything – pain, numbness, tingling, weakness.  And, nerves are all connected so what happens at the neck or back can cause weird shit to happen in the fingers or feet or anywhere all the way down the length of the nerve.  So these symptoms that can be caused by a messed up disc in the neck can cause weird feelings or decreased strength all the way down at your fingertips.  Same thing in the low back but a messed up disc there can cause weird symptoms down to your toes.  These symptoms are called cervical/ lumbar radiculopathy.  If you’re having pain for this reason, it’s called radicular pain.  This can be treated by doing various things.  You have to figure out what’s causing the symptoms first before you decide on a treatment plan.

I miss this stuff.  😦

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Categories: Health, Rehab

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10 replies

  1. And I miss you too along with canoeing, winter camping and smoking pot with friends.

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