Lumbar Radiculopathy

Lumbar Radiculopathy

Some of the major causes of acute and chronic lower back pain are associated with lumbar radiculopathy. However sometimes it is not the actual cause of the back pain. Lumbar radiculopathy (or pinched nerve) affects areas that are on the course of the nerve that is affected.

Causes

Radiculopathy is caused by compression or irritation of the nerves as they exit the spine. This can be due to a disc herniation, a bone spur, from osteoarthritis or from the thickening of the surrounding ligaments.

Symptoms

The symptoms of radiculopathy depend on the nerves that are affected. In lumbar radiculopathy, the nerves that control the muscles of the buttocks and legs area affected and pain, numbness and tingling in the legs are the main symptoms. There may be some localized back pain.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of radiculopathy begins with a complete medical history evaluation and physical examination. Medical history is a pertinent part of any diagnosis in order for the doctor to evaluate the symptoms, how long they've been present as well as what (if anything) makes them better or worse as well as what other medical problems may exist or what treatment has already been tried.

By knowing the exact location of the symptoms, our experts at SCCNS have vast experience in lumbar radiculopathy can help localize the nerve that is responsible. Physical evaluation of the extremity involved will be done to measure the patient's muscle strength, sensation, and reflexes to see if there are any abnormalities.

X-rays, MRIs or CT scans may be necessary to further evaluate the patient's condition as well as rule out any other underlying factors that may be present.

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