When the spine begins to press on nerves against the spinal cord, someone will begin to feel shooting pain down their buttocks or thighs. This is a common condition called radiculitis. While due to nerve compression, there are numerous other spinal conditions that can cause radiculitis. 

When the spine presses against the nerves connecting the spinal cord, a person may begin to experience what is known as radiculitis; pain that radiates, or is felt along the nerve pathway of the affected nerve root. Radiculitis can be debilitating and may eventually weaken the muscles of the area affected.

While radiculitis is caused by nerve compression, other conditions usually lead to this painful ailment.

Disc Herniation

A herniated disc can be caused by trauma, but is most often the result of age-related disc degeneration. Some patients may be able to point to specific activities that led to degeneration, such as an occupation that required lifting heavy objects or sports-related activities. When a portion of the disc protrudes and traps or pinches a nerve root, it may cause pain along the nerve pathway.

Bone Spurs

Bone spurs can happen when bones in the body rub together for an extended period of time. This is likely to occur when the layer of cartilage between two bones is worn away. As a result of the irritation, new bone forms. This is known as a bone spur. When bone spurs form on the spine, it can lead to the compression of nerves and thus radiculitis.

Spinal Stenosis

When the open spaces within your spine are narrowed, it can put pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves. This condition is called spinal stenosis, which most often occurs in the lower back or neck. Depending on the location of the narrowing (stenosis), spinal stenosis may create different symptoms. If the stenosis is pressing on the spinal cord it may lead to Myelopathy. If the stenosis is on the nerve root it may cause radiculopathy.

Disc Degeneration

Disc degeneration involves the deterioration of the discs in the spine. While this may sound scary, it is simply part of the aging process. Disc degeneration can cause pain that will limit a person’s activities. The pain might get worse when bending over or reaching up to grab something. As the discs age, they dehydrate, reducing the space between the vertebrae, which in turn leads to the narrowing of the opening through which the nerve roots exit the spinal canal. When those nerve roots are pinched, it produces radiating pain along the nerve pathway.

Other radiculitis causes might include damaged discs or spinal conditions like scoliosis and spondylolisthesis.

Treatment for radiculitis should not be delayed as it may lead to nerve damage, muscle weakness and atrophy.

The Bonati Spine Institute offers radiculitis treatment for patients who may be suffering from this spinal condition.

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