Radiculopathy is a disorder or disease of nerve roots that
enter or leave the spine. Nerve roots are the lowest part
of the structure of a nerve. Symptoms include severe
pain and sometimes a loss of feeling in the area of the
body supplied by the affected nerves. Other symptoms
include weakness, wasting away of muscles supplied by
the nerves, and/or paralysis (a loss of movement and/or
sensation). Radiculopathy may be caused if a disk in the
spine sticks out of the bony structure that it is normally
contained in. Spinal arthritis, which is inflammation of
joints in the spine, can also be a cause.
A joint is a place where two bones contact each other. If heavy metals, such as lead,
enter the body, this can lead to radiculopathy. Thickening of the meninges, which are thin
outer coverings of the brain and spine, can also lead to radiculopathy. Diabetes mellitus
can also cause radiculopathy. Diabetes mellitus is a complex, long-term disorder in which
the body is not able to effectively use a natural chemical called insulin. Insulin's main job is
to quickly absorb glucose (a type of sugar) into cells for their energy needs and into the
fat and liver (a large organ that performs many chemical tasks) cells for storage.
Treatment of radiculopathy involves treating the cause, if possible. Symptoms may be
relieved with painkillers, physical therapy, or in some cases, surgery. Radiculopathy is
also known as radiculitis. Radiculopathy comes from the Latin word "radix" meaning "root,"
and the Greek word "pathos" meaning "disease." The two words together mean "root