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What are the causes of radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy is caused by compression or irritation of the nerves as they exit the spine. This can be due to mechanical compression of the nerve by a disc herniation, a bone spur (osteophytes) from osteoarthritis, or from thickening of surrounding ligaments.
Other less common causes of mechanical compression of the nerves are from a tumor or infection. Either of these can reduce the amount of space in the spinal canal and compress the exiting nerve.
Scoliosis can cause the nerves on one side of the spine to become compressed by the abnormal curve of the spine.
Other causes of radiculopathy include diabetes which can decrease the normal blood flow to the spinal nerves. Inflammation from trauma or degeneration can lead to radiculopathy from direct irritation of the nerves.