Lumbar Radiculopathy

Lumbar radiculopathy occurs when the spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed or inflamed. This can lead to pain, numbness, or weakness in any area from your lower back to your feet.

  • Causes

    Lumbar radiculopathy may be the result of a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, bone spur, or injury affecting the nerve. This causes inflammation or compression of a spinal nerve.

  • Definition

    Lumbar radiculopathy occurs when the spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed or inflamed. This can lead to pain, numbness, or weakness in any area from your lower back to your feet.

    Area Affected By Lumbar Radiculopathy
    IMAGE
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  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

    Tests may include:

    • Physical mobility tests
    • Pain sensation tests
    • Reflex tests
    • Electrodiagnostics to test nerve conduction speed

    Imaging tests are done to take pictures or look at internal body structures. Imaging test may include:

    • MRI scan
    • CT Scan
    • Contrast myelography

  • Prevention

    To help reduce your chance of some developing some causes of lumbar radiculopathy, take these steps:

    • Maintain proper weight with a healthy diet and regular exercise
    • Learn how to properly lift heavy objects
    • Exercise your back to keep muscles strong and flexible
    • Use proper technique when playing sports to avoid back injury
    • Avoid excess straining or stretching of your neck and back

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your risk of lumbar radiculopathy may include:

    • Birth defects in the structure of the disc
    • Strenuous activity, especially heavy lifting
    • Overstretching
    • Overweight
    • Injury
    • Diabetes
    • Previous spinal surgery

  • Symptoms

    Lumbar radiculopathy may cause:

    • Tingling
    • Pain
    • Numbness
    • Weakness
    • Muscle spasms

  • Treatment

    In most cases, lumbar radiculopathy goes away when the cause of the symptoms improves. If problems persist, symptoms can be managed.


    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include one or more of the following: