A pinched nerve (also called radiculopathy) occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues (bones, cartilage or IVD material). This pressure disrupts the nerve’s function, causing pain, tingling, numbness or weakness. When a pinched nerve occurs in the neck and causes upper extremity pain or loss of function, it is also called cervical radiculopathy. When the pinched nerve occurs in the lumbar (low back) area and causes lower extremity pain and/or loss of function, it is called lumbar radiculopathy and may be called sciatica.
Sciatica refers to pain or discomfort associated with the nerve roots that comprise the sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from the lower part of the spinal cord, down the back of the leg, to the foot. Injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause the characteristic pain of sciatica: a sharp or burning pain that radiates from the lower back or hip, possibly following the path of the sciatic nerve to the foot and toes.
Myelopathy of the Cervical Spine (Neck)
Cervical myelopathy is when the disc material (herniated nucleus pulposus) or other soft tissue material presses on the spinal cord to produce symptoms that may produce both upper and lower extremities symptoms, it is called cervical myelopathy.