Damage to the nerve roots that enter or leave the spinal cord. Radiculopathy may be caused by disc prolapse, spinal arthritis, diabetes mellitus, or ingestion of heavy metals such as lead. The symptoms are severe pain and, occasionally, loss of feeling in the area supplied by the affected nerves, and weakness, paralysis, and wasting of muscles supplied by the nerves. If possible, the underlying cause is treated; otherwise, symptoms may be relieved by analgesic drugs, physiotherapy, or, in some cases, surgery.


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