Common symptoms of radiculopathy are tingling, pain and numbness in the legs and arms, according to MedicineNet. Some patients have localized pain in the back and neck, while some radiculopathy patients become hypersensitive in the affected area and may feel pain when touched lightly. In rare situations, patients experience muscle weakness in areas controlled by the affected nerves, which indicates nerve damage.
Radiculopathy symptoms differ depending on the particular nerve that has been pinched, explains MedicineNet. Lumbar radiculopathy causes sciatica pain downward toward the lower extremities. Symptoms of thoracic radiculopathy include pain in the middle of the back that radiates towards the chest and is often mistaken for shingles. Radiculopathy pain affects the root of the pinched nerve, according to Healthline. Cervical radiculopathy pain affects the arms, while lumbar radiculopathy pain affects the lower leg.
Radiculopathy pain may worsen when the patient coughs or when he moves his head or neck, explains Healthline. Abdominal pressure from sitting also may make this pain worse. Other symptoms include loss of reflexes, changes in sensation, shoulder pain and arm pain.
Doctors use information on the location of the symptoms and focus on the extremities involved to determine which nerves are affected, explains MedicineNet.