What is Radiculitis?

Radiculitis is, literally, pain that "radiates" along the nerve paths due to inflammation of the spinal nerve roots and is often caused by an irritation introduced by disc tears and by mechanical compressions from a herniated disc or foraminal stenosis. To alleviate the discomfort, we would exhaust all methods of conservative treatment before considering any endoscopic spine procedures.

Radiculitis Symptoms

Common symptoms include a "pins and needles" pain, or, depending on the severity, a burning pain or numbness along the affected nerve paths. Inflamed cervical nerves in your neck can cause symptoms in the shoulders, arms and hands, whereas lumbar nerve inflammation in your lower back, will affect the buttocks, legs, and feet with specific nerves affecting specific isolated areas.

How is Radiculitis Diagnosed?

Since radiculitis can be caused by any condition in the back, including spinal tumors and fractures that place pressure on the spinal nerves, it is often diagnosed while the patient is seeking treatment for another problem or condition.

Radiculitis Treatment Options

At the Spine Center of America, we take both non-surgical and surgical approaches to treat your condition, depending on the severity and the treatment plan that is right for you. Since your treatment involves the spine, it is strongly recommended that a board certified spine surgeon performs the procedure. Every physician at our comprehensive spine center is a board certified spinal surgeon.


Often, radiculitis treatment can be accomplished through the treatment of the condition that is causing it. If the radiculitis was being targeted as a stand-alone, we would formulate a conservative treatment plan for you with options that may include, heat or cold therapy, core muscle strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy programs, and activity modifications.


If the conservative treatment plan fails to yield sufficient results then your doctor would explore other options. For example, an endoscopic foraminotomy is a minimally invasive procedure that would relieve pressure on the affected nerve and relief is often felt instantly during the operation. Because the incision is so small, the procedure only requires the use of local anesthetic and intravenous sedation. 

If you need more information about this condition, feel free to contact us to speak with a spine specialist.