How Chiropractic Care Helps with Radicular Pain

Radicular Pain

If you’re experiencing radiating pain down your arm or leg, you may have a condition called radicular pain. Such type of pain can be caused by various issues, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis. Chiropractic care is an effective radicular pain treatment and can help you get back to your everyday life.




First, let’s clear the air. Radicular is the root term for radiculopathy. Radicular refers to anything that affects or relates to the root of a spinal neuron. That’s simple. Radicular is a way for doctors to describe something. The actual problem occurs at the nerve root, which is the place where the nerve exits from the spine.


Radiculopathy can be described as a wide range of symptoms caused by dysfunction at the nerve root. The root of the dysfunction is usually caused by irritation or compression. You may experience pain, weakness, numbness, and difficulty controlling certain muscles. The term indicates the location of the problem, but it can also describe multiple symptoms. Radiculopathy can occur in the same spine area, but two patients may experience different symptoms and a different cause.


What is the importance of differentiating radicular symptoms from other types of symptoms? It is helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of the problem. Your sister or friend can experience pain and numbness in the forearm. Your symptoms could be due to a lack of spinal motion or nerve root compression. However, your sister may feel pain from an elbow joint problem. To properly treat the problem and correct it, you must first differentiate the two.




A nerve root travels from the spinal cord to the cervical spine and into the arm. Each nerve provides sensation (feeling) for a portion of the arm and shoulder skin. It also sends electrical signals to certain muscles that allow them to move a part of their arm or hand. Nerve damage occurs when a nerve is pinched or irritated by a bone spur or an intervertebral disk. The nerve then stops working properly. This causes weakness in the nerve’s muscles, numbness, and pain in the area where it travels. This condition is known as cervical radiculopathy. Let us take a look at some causes of cervical radiculopathy.


A Herniated Disc


The neck can be bent forward or backward, and the disc can be twisted left and right. This creates pressure on the vertebrae. The disc acts as a shock absorber and responds to pressure from the vertebrae. The disc between the vertebrae is compressed by bending the neck forward. The disc could bulge towards the spine canal and nerve roots with increased pressure.


Neck motion can put too much pressure on the disc. This could lead to injury. A herniated disc is one of the most severe injuries. This injury occurs when the annulus portion (or intervertebral disc) is torn so badly that the nucleus pulposus pushes out from the middle of the disc. The annulus can rupture or tear anywhere in the disc. It can tear on the side closest to the spinal canal. When the nucleus pulposus squeezes, the annulus can press against the spinal cords. A herniated disk can press against the nerve root, causing pain, numbness, and weakness. Evidence suggests that chemicals released by the herniated disk may cause nerve root irritation, leading to pain and numbness.


In the early to middle-aged years, herniated discs are more common. The condition can occur when the force exerted on an otherwise healthy intervertebral disk is too strong. A car accident in which your head hits the windshield would be an example. A neck injury can result from the force exerted on it. A herniated disc can also develop if the disc has become weaker due to degenerative processes. A disc that has been weakened will be less likely to rupture or tear if it is not being strained enough. Degenerative disc disease is not always a result of a ruptured disc. A ruptured disc is not the result of degenerative disc disease.


Degeneration, Pinched Nerves & Bone Spurs


Degenerative disc disease may cause bone spurs around nerve roots in middle-aged and older people. This is usually found in the foramen, the opening in the cervical spine that allows the nerve root to exit the spine and travel into the arm. These bone spurs can rub on the nerve root, irritating if they get too large. The irritation can cause pain down the arm, numbness in the areas where the nerve provides sensation, and weakness in those muscles. The same symptoms can be experienced as with a herniated disk.




Cervical Radiculopathy is a condition that causes symptoms radiating out from the neck. The problem may not be in the spine but can radiate to the arm, shoulder, and hand. The affected nerve will feel the symptoms. A spine specialist will usually be able to identify which nerve is affected by looking at the location of the symptoms. These symptoms can include weakness, numbness, pain, and numbness. It can affect the reflexes of the upper arm.


Cervical radiculopathy can cause neck pain and headaches. These headaches are also known as “occiput” because they occur in the area around the back of your neck.


What Can Chiropractors Do About Cervical Radiculopathy


First, you must get a diagnosis of your cervical radiculopathy symptoms. This is done by a chiropractor who examines your neck and evaluates your lifestyle, risk factors, medical history, as well as symptoms. This information allows you to determine which nerve root requires treatment.


By treating the underlying cause, gentle adjustments to the cervical spine may be made. Adjustments that correct your cervical spine alignment can help shift or remove the nerve tissue and restore the normal flow of nerve signals.


A chiropractor can enhance the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments by using other nonsurgical treatments. Physical therapy may be an excellent option to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture. You may also benefit from cervical traction to treat spinal disc or joint problems.


Your chiropractor can provide helpful tips to help you avoid future episodes of cervical radiculopathy. You might consider regular exercises and ergonomic adjustments to improve your posture. Your chiropractor may also recommend periodic chiropractic exams to detect and correct any early-stage spine imbalances.


Chiropractic Treatment in Richmond Hill, Ontario

Chiropractic care is a valuable complementary therapy for patients with chronic radicular pain. It is also an affordable and accessible way of managing this debilitating condition and many others that cause low back pain. Richmond Hill Chiropractor offers chiropractors who can help you manage your chronic conditions through the use of manual adjustments, rehabilitation exercises, massage therapy, and nutritional counseling. We would love to serve you! Call us today at (289) 809-1186, or click on our contact page to start scheduling your appointment now.