Lumbar radiculopathy

Lumbar radiculopathy is a type of disorder that brings in pain in the hip and lower back, something that radiates down the back of our thighs to our legs and is in lay terms called sciatica. The damage occurs due to compression of our nerve roots that exit through the spine, from levels L1-S4. This compression could result in shooting pain, paraesthesia, numbness, radiating pain, and tingling. Though radiculopathy can be found in any part of the spine, it is predominant in the lumbar-sacral region of the spine and in the neck. The middle part of the spine is least affected by this condition, also known as thoracic radiculopathy.

Overall, lumbar radiculopathy is quite common symptom seen in clinical conditions and is quite predominant in people. Majority of the conditions are non-cancerous and get solved spontaneously, and hence, traditional home made remedies are best first step if accurate symptoms aren’t there. In events when it is difficult to resolve the symptoms, electromyography along with nerve conduction can help in the diagnosis.

Nerve root pain or radicular pain is not the same as radiculopathy. Both radicular pain and radiculopathy appear together commonly, however, radiculopathy could surface even in the absence of your pain and similarly radicular pain could surface if radiculopathy is absent.

  • One could define radiculopathy as a whole composition of systems the cause of which could be nerve root pathology, with motor pain and loss, hypothesia, parasthesia, and anesthsia.
  • Both nerve root pain and radicular pain could be defined as one single pain arising from one of or more spinal nerve roots. This condition is a L1 to S4 spinal nerve root disorder.


  • The common causes include intervertebral disc lesion and spinal degenerative disease among the other causes behind lumbosacral radiculopathy.
  • Nerve root getting compressed and herniated disc causes radiculopathy to almost 90 percent people.
  • Though not a major cause yet tumour could be one
  • Degenerative changes and congenital abnormalities could cause lumbar spinal stenosis. This condition could be described as a condition where there is spinal cord getting narrowed followed by nerve compression due to several reasons.
  • Owing to the abnormal curve that the spine making the spine on one size to compress results in a condition called scoliosis.
  • Certain infection that cause underlying diseases like osteomyelitis.

Herniated disc is a common cause for patients under the age of 50 years. After 50 years, this condition is often caused by spinal degenerative changes like foramen intravertebral stenosis. The risk factors for acute conditions of lumbar radiculopathy are:

  • Age – peak time is between 45 and 64 years
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Mental stress
  • Frequent lifting and other stressful physical activities
  • Vibration of the entire body due to driving

Symptoms that indicate sciatica are:

Unilateral pain in the leg that is more intense than lower back pain, where this leg pain follows a dermatomal blueprint.

Excruciating pain travelling down the knee to the foot and toes

The leg pain on one side is more than the back pain

Paraenthesia and numbness in the region

Cura Multispecialty Hospital’s Treatment

At Cura we have a team of specialists who decide on your clinical sequence based on the causes of the condition also which of the roots have been affected. Also the nature of pain is significant in identifying the clinical process like – whether the pain is dull, sharp, throbbing, piercing, burning, shooting, stabbing and the pain localization. Certain patients complain along with radicular leg pain, certain neurological signs like sensory loss, losing reflexes, paresis, etc. If these conditions are absent, then it is not radiculopathy. 

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