Acute Nerve Root Compression Treatment

Acute Nerve Root Compression, also known as Radiculopathy, is a condition which affects spinal nerve roots and can cause severe pain.
At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our specialised treatment aims to:

What is Acute Nerve Root Compression?

Acute nerve root compression, or radiculopathy, occurs when a nerve within the neck or back is compressed as it leaves the spinal column. The pain caused is often referred to as ‘sciatica’, felt as numbness, shooting pain or weakness in the arms, neck, chest, legs, feet and/or hip area.

When intervertebral discs in the spine are injured – called a prolapse, where they bulge outward – it places pressure on the nerve, triggering the condition. These discs are the shock absorbers found between bones in your spine.

 

Acute nerve root compression can occur in the three spinal regions:

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What are the causes?

Sometimes, simple bending or twisting movements of the spinal column can compress the nerves, as well as sharp or forceful movements. Often it is a repetitive movement done over time that causes the damage and the simple bending was just the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak.

Commonly, symptoms of radiculopathy occur around the nerve. Cervical radiculopathy pain presentation is typically felt in the arms and shoulders, whereas thoracic and lumbar radiculopathy in the leg and foot. As the pain doesn’t usually present in the spine, it is called ‘referred pain’.

Additionally, preexisting spinal conditions or other degenerative disorders can irritate or compress the spinal nerve roots, including:

What are the symptoms?

  • Sudden pain – shooting, severe, burning and/or aching
  • Tingling (similar to pins and needles sensations)
  • Numbness (complete or just a decreased sensation)
  • Swelling/inflammation
  • Muscle/limb weakness
  • Muscle spasm or tightness
  • Loss of or abnormal reflexes
  • Inability to stand up straight or maintain balance
Chronic Back Pain
Treatment

Treatment for Acute Nerve Root Compression

Physiotherapy is an effective way to reduce pain and encourage recovery from acute nerve root compression. Though it does not usually have long term effects, timely diagnosis and treatment is vital.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, treatment is aimed at stabilising the spinal column and using exercise to unload the neck and spine to reduce pressure on the spinal nerve roots. This is done through:

  • Soft tissue mobilisations (massage)
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Heat therapy
  • Taping
  • A tailored home exercise program
  • Graded Exposure to load program

Anti-inflammatory and/or analgesic medication, rest and heat packs may help some of the symptoms.

Recovery typically takes a couple of months, however this depends on the severity of the disc bulge and nerve root compression. It is important that you do not engage in strenuous activity or sport as this may worsen or aggravate the condition.

How to book an appointment?

If you think that you may be suffering from acute nerve root compression, our physios at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess and diagnose the condition. They may also refer you to get scans in some severe cases to better understand your needs. They will then tailor your treatment plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.

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Need Help?

Are you suffering from painful acute nerve root compression? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073

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