phone: (585) 267-7700

fax: (585) 267-7536

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> Axial vs. Radicular Back Pain

Radicular pain is caused by irritation or injury of a spinal nerve (as a result of foraminal narrowing, disc herniation, arthritis, infection and/or inflammation). It is usually perceived as a shooting, numbing or tingling sensation in the arms or legs.

Axial pain, on the other hand, is not accompanied by any such sensations in the extremities. Axial pain is more confined to one body area. In the cervical spine it radiates along the back of the shoulders, or towards the shoulder blades, or into the back of the scalp (sometimes causing occipital headaches). In the lower back it is referred around into the groin, pelvis, buttocks or upper thigh.

Axial pain may be caused by a damaged disc when there’s no bulging of the disk (such as radial annular disc tear.)

In some patients, both Radicular and Axial symptoms may occur simultaneously.