Neurological syndrome that develops as a result of compression of the primary divisions of the spinal nerves or nerve roots in the area of their branches from the spinal cord, in medicine called radicular syndrome or radiculopathy. Painful sensations that accompany this pathology, localized in different parts of the human body, depending on the location of the lesion. For example, pain may occur in the lower back, legs, neck, and even radiate to the internal organs, such as the stomach, heart, intestines.
Reasons radicular syndrome
Radicular syndrome is a very common disease, and has quite a few reasons. The emergence of the disease in the first place, by a variety of degenerative diseases of the spine. Most often it is low back pain, spondylosis and intervertebral hernia. In addition, radicular syndrome may be due to:
- All sorts of injuries and scarring;
- Osteoporosis (as a result of vertebral fractures);
- Osteomyelitis or tuberculosis (resulting from damage to the vertebral infectious nature);
- Changes in hormonal status;
- A variety of birth defects of the spine;
- Oncological diseases of the spinal cord;
- Regular stress on the spinal column;
- Sedentary lifestyle;
It should be noted that the radicular syndrome does not occur immediately after exposure to one of the above reasons. As a rule, initially violations occur in the area of the intervertebral disc, which provokes the formation of hernias. After that, a hernia is gradually shifting from putting pressure on the nerve root, which prevents the outflow of venous blood from him. This leads to the development of the disease.
The lumbar radicular syndrome
Most often radicular syndrome affects the lumbar region of the spine. This is due to the fact that the active portion, usually experiences maximum load in comparison with other parts of the spine. Furthermore, the lumbar muscles and ligaments are relatively weak, and the outlet openings of the nerve roots are quite large vessels.
When the lumbar radicular syndrome is usually observed severe unilateral pain of different nature (aching, sharp, dull, shooting, cutting and so on. D.). The nature of the pain depends on the intensity of the nerve root lesions and associated factors. Attacks in this case may be triggered by sudden movements or hypothermia. Localization of the pain caused by the defeat of the specific lumbar roots:
- The lumbar radicular syndrome that affects 1-3 roots characterized by pain in the lower back, abdomen, front and inner thigh, near the groin and pubic area. They are often accompanied by a feeling of numbness and tingling of the skin in these areas;
- If it affects the spine 4 lumbar pain occurs in the area of the lower back and hips, extending to the knee and lower leg. If movements in the knee felt a noticeable weakness;
- Radicular syndrome of the spine which affects the lumbar spine 5, manifested by pain in the region of the inner thighs and lower legs, coming down to the foot and big toe. Foot muscles become weak, it often leads to difficulty standing on the affected foot.
It is worth noting that the pain of radicular syndrome in the lumbar region of the spine is usually stopped or reduced at rest or when lying on the healthy side.
Symptoms of radicular syndrome
The very first symptom radicular syndrome is pain along the damaged nerve. So, if the disease affects the cervical, the pain observed in the neck and arms, the chest - in the area of the back, stomach or heart sometimes, waist - in the lower back, buttocks and legs. Virtually any sudden movement or careless lifting weights can contribute to pain.
Along with this often painful symptoms of radicular syndrome may be felt at night during sleep, which is often accompanied by excessive sweating, and swelling and redness of the skin. The cause of the attacks of pain can become hypothermia or emotional stress.
Another common symptom radicular syndrome can be called a violation of the sensitivity of the affected nerve. For example, pricking with a needle in the zone accompanied by a significant reduction in sensitivity as compared with a similar procedure carried out on the opposite side of the sound.
Furthermore, an additional feature of radicular syndrome may be a movement disorder resulting in progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and shrinkage that occurs because of the destruction of nerves innervating them.
Treatment of radicular syndrome
Diagnosis of the disease is carried out by a person's medical history, physical examination, anterior and lateral X-ray of the spine, as well as magnetic resonance imaging. Treatment of radicular syndrome can be divided into the following methods:
- Bed rest;
- Drug therapy;
- Muscle relaxants;
- Exercise therapy and massages.
Drug treatment of radicular syndrome involves the use of painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The first address the pain, the second - to reduce inflammation in the hearth.
Muscle relaxants help to relieve muscle spasms and hondroprotektory slows cartilage destruction in the intervertebral joints, activating the process of recovery. Vitamins in the disease are aimed at improving metabolic processes in the tissues of a nerve, as well as to maintain the patient's general condition.
Treatment of radicular syndrome with physical therapy may include radon baths, magnetic therapy, mud therapy, ultrasound, and so on.. However physiotherapy is usually used after the acute period of the disease.
Therapeutic exercise and massages at a syndrome strengthen the muscles of the spine, improve blood circulation and restore motor activity of the patient. In the most severe cases may need surgery.