Lumbar radiculopathy

Lumbar radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is the term used to describe dysfunction of a nerve root. A nerve root is the initial part of a nerve that leaves the spinal cord. Radiculopathy is used interchangeably with a ‘pinched nerve’ however this isn’t really correct because radiculopathy can occur without the nerve root being pinched. A spinal fracture, bone spurs, infection, trauma, tumour, diabetes and arthritis can cause radiculopathy. Radiculitis (inflammation of the nerve) is more correct in some of these circumstances. Indeed one of the most common causes of radiculopathy is form a disc bulge or herniation causing a nerve root to become pinched.

Symptoms of radiculopathy

The symptoms of radiculopathy are usually pain in the distribution of the nerve root (dermatome), sensory symptoms such as numbness and tingling, muscle weakness and loss of function.

Treatment of radiculopathy

Presuming the problem is mechanical. In most cases conservative treatments such as the ones our chiropractors and physiotherapists use at Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) will successfully treat and fix radiculopathy. Medications may be needed and in some cases injections and surgery is required, but this is rare. Our chiropractors and physiotherapists use only the evidence-based treatments combined with rehabilitation exercises for the treatment of radiculopathy.

Some other causes of low back pain