If you were getting your tongue-tied trying to pronounce radiculopathy, centralization, and peripheralization, you are not alone. This is not a sexy topic. But considering most people will experience some form of radiculopathy throughout their lifetime it becomes extremely important to understand.
The typical presentation of these symptoms can be quite camouflaged.
Patients often report that they have suffered from neck stiffness for years, it has not bothered them enough to do anything major about it. They then develop a shoulder issue, it could be general soreness or potentially something that is specifically diagnosed by a healthcare practitioner like impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tendonitis or shoulder bursitis. The shoulder pain takes a while to get better but ultimately it goes away.
Next, the patient starts to experience elbow pain, whether on the medial side (golfer’s elbow) or on the lateral side (tennis elbow). Or in some cases, the pain appears in the wrist (carpal tunnel) and skips the elbow altogether. This is diagnosed by the family doctor or by another healthcare practitioner. They diagnose it simply by the location of the pain or by basic irritative tests which are great at identifying the location of the pain but not its cause.
This is unfortunate, but the all too common sequence that we hear patients describe time and time again.
In our next blog post, we will discuss what treatment options and self-management techniques will help the most.