Nerve Root Injuries occur when the spinal cord comes off the base of the brain, runs throughout the cervical and thoracic spine, and ends at the lower part of the thoracic spine. Therefore, spinal cord injury or damage may accompany trauma or diseases of the cervical spine or thoracic spine.
Nerve root disorders (radiculopathies) are precipitated by acute or chronic pressure on a root in or adjacent to the spinal column. The most common cause is a herniated intervertebral disk. Bone changes due to RA or osteoarthritis, especially in the cervical and lumbar areas, may also compress isolated nerve roots.
Pain may be exacerbated by movements that transmit pressure to the nerve root through the subarachnoid space (eg, moving the spine, coughing, sneezing, doing the Valsalva maneuver). Lesions of the cauda equina, which affect multiple lumbar and sacral roots, cause radicular symptoms in both legs and may impair sphincter and sexual function.