Sciatica signals lumbar radiculopathy
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
When you feel pain pulsing down the back of your leg, you may recognize it as sciatica. When BayCare Clinic specialists see sciatica, it’s often a sign of lumbar radiculopathy.
That’s when nerve roots going from the lower back – the lumbar region of the spinal cord – to the legs are compressed, inflamed or injured. That causes sciatica, numbness and tingling in the leg or foot, weakness and muscle spasms. In most cases, surgery isn’t needed.
“Sometimes it occurs after an injury, but it also can come on with no warning.”
When the cause is a herniated disc, which sometimes follows too much physical strain, the damaged disc leaks material and squeezes those nerve roots, causing pain, numbness, tingling and weakness. Discs also can be damaged by a congenital defect or by an injury.
Knowing the cause of lumbar radiculopathy is the key to treating it. Surgery is one option. Other options include back supports, medication, physical therapy and steroid injections in the spine. BayCare Clinic offers a full range of non-operative, minimally invasive and surgical options.
If you’re experiencing that pain radiating down the back of your leg, call BayCare Clinic Neurological Surgeons at 888-376-3876 or 920-288-8350.