Lumbar radiculopathy is not a specific condition but refers to chronic injuries of the spinal nerve roots caused by nerve compression, or irritation that has been left untreated. Radiculopathy is the term used to describe symptoms in any part of the spine caused by nerves that are not working properly. It is most common in the lower back (lumbar radiculopathy) and in the neck (cervical radiculopathy).
Lumbar radiculopathy most commonly presents as lower back pain and muscle weakness. Pain down the back of the leg and into the foot and loss of the Achilles reflex are S1 lumbar radiculopathy specific symptoms. Numbness, tingling, weakness, loss of motor function, and radiating pain are some of the common symptoms of radiculopathy. Most patients will describe the pain as a sharp radiating pain that worsens with activity or change in positions.
Repetitive or stressful activities are common known causes of radiculopathy. If you have a job that involves repetitive motions or heavy lifting, you are particularly at risk for radiculopathy. A genetic disposition and other spine disorders can also increase your risk of developing radiculopathy.
As Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physicians, we treat patients every day that suffer from lumbar radiating pain and receive the benefits from our pain medicine procedures and coordinated physical rehab. Once we have diagnosed the pain generator, we can actively treat the condition.