Radiculopathy is not a specific condition, but rather a description of a problem in which one or more
nerves are affected and do not work properly (a neuropathy). The emphasis is on the nerve root
(Radix = "root"). This can result in pain (radicular pain), weakness, numbness, or difficulty controlling
In a radiculopathy, the problem is at or near the root of the nerve, along the spine. However, the pain
or other symptoms may manifest in an extremity through a process called referred pain. For example, a
nerve root impingement in the neck can produce pain and weakness in the forearm. Likewise, an impingement
in the lower back or lumbar-sacral spine can be manifested with symptoms in the foot. Polyradiculopathy
refers to the condition where more than one spinal nerve root is affected.
The nerve(s) may be inflamed, pinched (compressed), or working ineffectively due to a lack of blood
flow. The nerve could be affected by a progressive disease that is destroying it in part or in whole.
The "straight leg raise test" can help to diagnose a lumbar or sacral nerve root radiculopathy.
Cervical radiculopathy: Radiculopathy in the cervical spine
Cauda equina syndrome