Radiculopathy, or pinched nerve, involves irritation to the spinal nerves that can occur in the neck, middle or lower back. This can result in pain, tingling or numbness, usually radiating into the arms and legs but also into the ribs and abdomen. The most common conditions that cause a radiculopathy are bulging or herniated disc, bone spurs and narrowing of the spinal canal, or stenosis.
In most cases, this condition can be successfully treated with over-the-counter medication, rest and activity modifications. Physical therapy can also be beneficial. If treatment does not help, an MRI or CAT scan may be obtained to help diagnose the cause. Pain management injections usually provide relief where other treatment regimens have failed. Surgical options are reserved for patients that fail conservative treatment, but may be required on a more urgent basis for patients with progressive leg or arm weakness.