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.
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
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.
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.