Lumbar Radiculopathy (or Sciatica) is a condition where there is pressure placed on one or more nerve roots in the lower back from a variety of causes including but not limited to a bulging disc or bone spurs.
Common causes of Sciatica include herniated discs, spinal stenosis, injuries and degenerative disc diseases. Sciatica can also develop from wear and tear.
Symptoms of Sciatica are typically one or more of the following:
- A constant pain on one side of the buttocks
- A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand or walk
- Burning or tingling down the leg
- Pain on one side of the buttock or in one leg that becomes worse when sitting
- Weakness, numbness, or difficulty in moving the leg or foot
For many patients, sciatica pain may be bearable yet irritating, while for others it may be severe and incapacitating. Pain relief of sciatica can take place over a few weeks to months using non-surgical sciatica treatments. In more severe cases, treatment for sciatica may require surgery due to severe nerve pain.
Lumbar radiculopathy is best treated with multiple modalities at the same time. These include medications such as anti-inflammatories, topical creams, and short term course of muscle relaxants. Physical therapy is an important adjunct to strengthen core muscles, stabilize the spine, and help restore balance. Epidural steroid injections can help reduce inflammation of the nerve roots and help the body heal itself.