Radicular Pain


Radicular Pain - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Radicular pain is an aching, radiating pain that’s caused by pinched or irritated nerves in the spine. It frequently occurs in the neck, back and legs, and can result from an injury, such as strain or sprain, or a medical condition, such as herniated disc or spinal stenosis. In some cases, its cause remains unknown.


Radicular pain generally results from nerve inflammation or compression due to a herniated disc, spinal disc degeneration, or a misaligned vertebra. Other medical conditions that can cause radicular pain include:

  • Spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of the spine
  • Spondylolisthesis, or the slippage of one vertebra over another
  • Spinal tumors
  • Infections of the spine
  • Diabetes


Common symptoms of radicular pain include:

  • Deep, aching pain
  • Sharp or burning sensations
  • Numbness
  • Tingling or pins-and-needles sensations
  • Weakness and decreased range of motion


Treatment for radicular pain depends on the underlying cause. Most cases of radicular pain can be treated conservatively, through rest and by avoiding activities that make the pain worse. Physical therapy, muscle-strengthening exercises and corticosteroid injections are all potential options.

In some cases, surgery may be required. This includes procedures such as laminectomy, vertebroplasty, and discectomy, which can help create more space for the nerves. Additionally, nonsurgical treatments may be necessary to reduce pain or improve other symptoms.