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Expert Rev Neurother. 2015 Jun;15(6):681-93. doi: 10.1586/14737175.2015.1048226. Epub 2015 May 17.

Clinical management of radicular pain.

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Pain Management Center of Paducah, 2831 Lone Oak Road Paducah, KY 42003, USA.


This review provides an overview of the diagnosis and treatment strategies for the management of radicular pain. While it is not as common as axial spinal pain, radicular pain combines the advantage of leveraging appropriate diagnostic strategies and definitive treatments with well-informed outcome measures. Multiple diagnostic measures include not only history and physical examination, but also imaging. The treatment modalities include pharmacologic management, physical and rehabilitation measures, interventional techniques and surgical treatments. Here, the authors describe the prevalence and pathophysiology of radicular pain, risk factors, diagnostic strategies, treatment modalities and the evidence for these management strategies. Finally, the authors show the efficacy of conservative management, despite surgical management being the gold standard.


cervical disc herniation; cervical radicular pain; cervical spondylosis; discectomy; epidural steroids; fusion; lumbar disc herniation; lumbar radicular pain; thoracic radicular pain

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