Radicular Pain and Radiculopathy
Radicular pain is pain that travels along the pathway of the spinal nerve roots into the lower extremities. One major and common symptom of radicular pain is radiculopathy which is popularly called sciatica. Radiculopathy is pain that travels down the big sciatic nerve, down the back of the thigh, and also into the calf and foot. Treatment for radiculopathy can either be conservative (epidural injections, physical therapy, or pain medications) or surgical (laminectomy or discectomy).
A radiologist is a medical doctor whose specialty involves using x-ray technology to diagnose and treat medical conditions. Radiologists use a range of modern day equipment such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT or CAT) scans to analyze sections of the body and give a diagnosis. Radiologists can further specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases associated with the brain and spinal cord which may cause back pain.
A relaxation technique is a broad phrase that includes all kinds of non-invasive methods and manipulations which can provide relief from stress, anxiety, and muscle tension. Relaxation techniques are beneficial in relieving back pain and pain due to muscle spasms. Examples of relaxation techniques include massage therapy, Tai Chi, and acupuncture.
Resection is the partial or full surgical removal of injured organs or structures. Tumors, for instance spinal tumors, are often removed by resection. Sometimes tumors put external pressure on nerves which can cause a lot of pain. Performing a resection on such tumors can help to provide pain relief.
Resorption is the process by which osteoclasts cells remove bone tissue. Osteoblast cells function to lay down new tissue. Resorption is the body’s way of maintaining homeostasis with calcium supplies. When there is an imbalance between the rate of bone resorption and new bone formation it can cause osteoporosis and osteopenia, and possibly result in fractures to the spine, wrist, or hip.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the connective tissues and leads to extreme degeneration of the joints. It begins by inflammation in the lining of the enzyme-releasing joints (synovium) which digest bone and cartilage. The affected joint then becomes malformed, swollen, and painful. Rheumatoid arthritis commonly causes cervical back pain. Rheumatoid Arthritis is treated with NSAIDs to relieve pain and physical therapy or water therapy to stimulate normal motion.
Rhizotomy is the severance of spinal nerve roots during surgery. The procedure is normally done to relieve chronic back pain and muscle spasms. Facet rhizotomy is used when there is spinal joint pain to provide long-term low back pain relief. During facet rhizotomy, the sensory nerve at the facet joint is severed and disabled. An electrified hot probe is used for severance which prevents pain signals from reaching the brain.
A rod is a cylindrical metal used to stabilize vertebral segments during spinal surgery. Rods are usually implanted during spinal fusion surgeries as a way to give the bones time to fuse or heal properly. The rod screws are removed after fusion is complete. One major risk of using rods in surgery is that they can break and cause several complications.