4 Symptoms of Radiculopathy

Your spine not only supplies support and mobility for your body, it’s also the main conduit for your nervous system. When a nerve along your spinal column becomes compressed or pinched, it can lead to a group of symptoms that we categorize under radiculopathy.

To help you determine whether your symptoms stem from a compressed nerve along your spine, the team here at Texas Spine Consultants, which includes Michael Hennessy, MD, Robert Viere, MD, Andrew Park, MD, Chester Donnally, MD, and Heidi Lee, MD, pulled together a brief description of the four most common signs of radiculopathy

Your nervous system at a glance

Before we discuss the more common symptoms of radiculopathy, let’s take a closer look at the problem. The average human body contains 46 miles of nerves and they all link back to the brain through the spinal column. 

This means that a problem in one of the many nerve roots that branch out from your spine can not only lead to symptoms in the immediate area, but it may affect the length of the nerve, causing symptoms in seemingly unrelated areas.

For example, a herniated disc in your lumbar spine, or lower back, may press up against your sciatic nerve, causing symptoms that follow the length of the nerve down one side of your lower extremities (buttcks, legs, and feet).

The same holds true for a pinched nerve in your cervical spine, or neck, which can lead to symptoms that radiate through your shoulder and down your arm.

Now that we better understand how radiculopathy can involve some or all of the nerve that’s compressed, let's take a look at the symptoms. 


This symptom is the most obvious and it’s one that’s hard to ignore. The pain can be local — only in the immediate area where the nerve is pinched — or it may travel the length of the nerve, causing arm pain or leg pain.

The pain may only occur with certain movements or it may be a constant companion, depending upon the degree of the nerve compression. 

Numbness and tingling

If you’re experiencing strange sensations in one of your limbs or appendages (arms/hands, legs/feet), such as numbness or tingling, this may stem from a pinched nerve in your spine. The sensations are also described as pins and needles and are medically known as paresthesia. 


If you develop weakness in one of your arms or legs, this may be due to a pinched nerve in your neck or lower back, respectively. 

Loss of reflexes

Along with weakness, radiculopathy can also include a loss of reflexes. Perhaps you may not feel as nimble on your feet, or your arms seem to have lost their ability to make involuntary movements (pulling away from a flame).  

Treating radiculopathy

No matter what form your radiculopathy takes, the good news is that we can help restore sensation and function (and relieve the discomfort).

Depending upon your unique situation, we offer everything from physical therapy and injections to minimally invasive surgical procedures that relieve the pressure on your nerves.

To learn more about resolving your radiculopathy or to schedule an appointment, contact one of our two locations in Plano or Addison, Texas.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Can a Problem in Your Spine Be Causing Your Arm Pain?

Your spine plays many important roles, not the least of which is providing the primary passageway for your nervous system. As a result, a problem in your spine can lead to pain in seemingly unrelated areas, such as your arms.

What Causes a Herniated Disc?

Slipped, bulging, ruptured — these terms all apply to the same problem, a herniated disc. Just as there are many names for the condition, there are also many causes or risk factors, which we review here.

I Think My Teen May Have Scoliosis

You watch with amazement at how quickly your child develops, but you notice that they may be having issues with their back. Here, we take a look at scoliosis, which typically presents itself during adolescence.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

There are many roads to lower back and neck pain, which are the two most active areas of your spine. Here, we explore one of the more common culprits — spinal stenosis — and how you can find relief.

Recognizing the Signs of a Herniated Disc

There are many problems that can lead to back and neck pain, with herniated discs among the more common. Here, we explore the symptoms of a herniated disc so that you can better identify and treat the issue.

Treatments for Your Lower Back Pain

Few things can affect your life quite like lower back pain, which can make the simple act of getting up out of a chair excruciating. Thankfully, there are a wide range of treatment options for lower back pain.