Symptoms of Radicular Pain

Symptoms of Radicular Pain

Read on to learn what radicular pain symptoms are, along with how to manage radicular pain and how it is treated. 

Table of Contents

What is Radicular Pain?

When the spinal nerve is pinched or irritated, it can cause radicular pain and discomfort. Radicular pain starts from a particular body region and then spreads to other regions, mainly from the back to the hip area and then into the legs through the spine. The pain passes along the root of the spinal nerve. Numbness, tingling, and muscular weakness may accompany the leg discomfort.1

Causes of Radicular Pain

Various things can cause radicular pain, suggesting a significant underlying illness in some circumstances. It includes:

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc develops when disc material bursts through the disc’s annulus and obstructs a nerve root, effectively “pinching” it. Paresthesia (tingling down the legs) is another typical herniated disc symptom. Patients with HNP typically have leg and back discomfort and numbness or paralysis in the affected region.2


Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition influenced by lower back pain. It occurs when one vertebra slides out of position and lands on the vertebra below. Symptoms vary, and persons with mild instances may not experience any. Those with severe symptoms may be unable to conduct daily tasks.

Nerve Root Injuries

A plexus or ganglion of nerves that generate pain in a specified organ or anatomical region may often be inhibited by injecting medicine into a specific body location. A nerve block is the infusion of this nerve-numbing chemical.

Bone Spur

Trauma or deterioration over time are common causes of bone spurs.  Bone spurs in your vertebrae can pressure surrounding nerves, resulting in radicular leg pain.

Symptoms of Radicular Pain

  • Loss of reflexes in the legs and arms: This is one of the common symptoms of radicular pain. The nerves in these regions become almost inactive, causing numbness and tingling of the legs and arms.
  • Weakness in the arms and legs: A pattern of pain and numbness in the arms or legs causes muscular weakness in the muscles supplied by the nerve root’s sensory fibers.
  • Sharp pain in the legs, shoulders, back, and arms: As the pain continues, the pain begins to spread to other body parts like the shoulders and the back, causing frequent sharp pains.
  • Numbness and prickling of the skin: Radicular pain symptoms also include numbness and prickling of the skin, causing the nerves to become weak.
  • Abnormal feelings in the legs or arms: Abnormal sensations around the leg and arm region are also a significant symptom of radicular pain.

What’s the Difference Between Radicular Pain Vs. Radiculopathy?

There is a distinct difference between radicular pain and radiculopathy. Radiculopathy is a type of radicular pain that occurs due to the inflammation or compression of the nerve root. When the nerve root becomes inflamed, it causes neurological conditions which may reduce or affect reflexes, causing weakness and numbness.


Radicular discomfort and radiculopathy can happen separately or together. Medical experts frequently overlap the phrases, and while there are some variations between the two, treatment approaches are generally the same.3

Radicular Leg Pain

Can Your Work Contribute to Radicular Pain?

Radicular leg pain may increase in the long run depending on your responsibilities at work. If you work a job where you’re on your feet for most of the day, this can pose a threat and potentially harm your health later on.

How Do I Manage My Radicular Pain Symptoms?

You can manage radicular pain symptoms by getting physical therapy with the help of a physiotherapist. Physical therapy helps to bring the nerves back to normal. You can also engage in regular exercise to increase mobility and reduce weakness and numbness.

How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better?

Most times, radicular weakness does not require surgery, unlike other forms of chronic pain. Patients usually begin to feel better two to four weeks after starting therapy. However, this depends on the type of treatment and how much work you are willing to put in.

How is Radicular Pain Treated?

Radicular pain can be treated with a few different strategies. 

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist can suggest exercises to reduce the discomfort that accompanies radicular pain. Physical treatment is typically not recommended within the first three weeks after symptoms begin since symptoms commonly improve independently.


Some medications can help with radicular pain symptoms. These include over the counter NSAIDs, which consist of Ibuprofen and naproxen.

Corticosteroids can also help. These are a family of drugs having anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties that are structurally comparable to the human adrenal hormone cortisol.

Corticosteroids can be injected directly into spinal structures and delivered systemically, most typically by the oral, intravenous, or intramuscular methods, to treat low back pain.

Radiculopathy Surgery

Radiculopathy symptoms may typically be controlled without surgery. However, minimally invasive surgery may be necessary in certain cases. Radiculopathy is treated surgically by manually eliminating the tissue compressing the nerve root. This might include removing all or part of a herniated disc (discectomy) or expanding the aperture where a nerve root leaves the spine (nerve root enlargement).

What Can I Expect if I Have Radicular Pain?

People with radicular pain should expect some symptoms such as tingling, numbness of the nerves in the arms and legs, weakness, and inability to move or walk easily

How Long Does the Pain Last?

The pain can persist for up to six weeks, depending on the region. For instance, lumbar radicular pain symptoms can resolve in less than seven weeks, but if symptoms persist, one may need to get professional help as soon as possible.4

Get Treatment for Radicular Pain at J. Flowers Health Institute

At J. Flowers Health Institute, we provide solutions for people diagnosed with complex conditions such as radicular pain, among many others. We work with people of all ages, backgrounds, professions, and sectors to identify hard-to-define issues such as chronic pain, addiction, drug abuse, and mental health. Our services are top-notch, tested, and trusted with valid proof. Our physicians and specialists are experts in assessing:

  • Psychological and physical well-being
  • Chronic discomfort
  • Addiction
  • Trauma-related addictions
  • Professionals with disabilities

Our therapeutic approach to health is centered on eliminating the fundamental cause of health problems so that you may live your best life. We’ll make sure your evaluations are relaxed, personal, and confidential. We also provide basic health information and questions you may have in your mind concerning your health..