There are 32 pairs of nerve roots that exit the spinal column. These exiting nerves distribute neural function to all parts of the body. The nerve roots can become compromised by its surrounding structures and/ or a injury causing inflammation to the area. In many cases a radiculopathy to the cervical or lumbar spinal regions can result in weakness, pain, numbness, tingling, or a difficulty controlling specific muscle groups into the hands or feet.
Common injuries that can potentially cause a radiculopathy can range from improper lifting of objects or being involved in an automobile accident. Diabetes can also develop a diabetic neuropathy due to the lack of blood flow to the nerves and surrounding tissues resulting in numbness and tingling down the arms and feet.
To effectively treat a radiculopathy one must restore a spinal nerve root to its proper function. A systemic review found that a chiropractic adjustment was effective in treating acute cervical and lumbar radiculopathies . Other conservative treatment approaches include physical therapy such as spinal decompression and flexion distraction.