What to do About Lumbar Radiculopathy

What to do About Lumbar Radiculopathy

You might describe your pain as sciatica, but it’s officially called “lumbar radiculopathy.” Whenever you have spinal nerve roots irritated, it can lead to radiating pain that starts in your low back or buttock and runs down your leg, sometimes into your foot. 

At Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care, our team of spine and pain specialists are well-equipped to help you overcome lumbar radiculopathy. Here’s what you can do at home to find relief and how we can help.

Causes of lumbar radiculopathy

Any condition that compresses or irritates the five lumbar spinal nerve roots can lead to lumbar radiculopathy symptoms. This includes:

Pretty much any degenerative condition that affects the spine has the potential to cause lumbar radiculopathy. If you come in with symptoms, we review your medical history and perform a physical exam to find the root cause of your problem. 

Your doctor looks for weakness in certain muscles, loss of reflexes, or sensory loss that suggest spinal cord involvement. 

How to treat lumbar radiculopathy

At home, over-the-counter pain medications, hot and cold packs, and movement modifications can help ease symptoms. If you find, for example, that sitting for long periods aggravates the condition, get up regularly throughout your day to stretch the area out. If you’re a runner and find that running is a trigger, opt for a cross training choice like cycling or swimming to ease pain. 

Conservative treatments

We here at Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care may recommend physical therapy that can help stabilize your spine and promote a more open space for the nerve roots to sit. This reduces compression and irritation so you feel better. 

Epidural corticosteroid injections, facet injections, or nerve root injections treat the irritated nerve directly to reduce swelling and irritation that radiates down the hips or leg. Radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat to interrupt pain signals, or spinal cord stimulation, which uses electrical signals to mask pain, are also possible non-surgical treatments.

We often combine conservative treatments to find the right solution for your pain and dysfunction.

Surgical interventions

Usually, sciatica can be managed with conservative treatments. We want you to experience a great reduction in pain and have function restored. 

But, in severe cases of lumbar radiculopathy, you may require surgery to find relief. The type of surgery depends on what’s causing the lumbar radiculopathy, but all procedures have the goal of stabilizing the spine or decompressing the affected nerve roots. Surgeries used to treat lumbar radiculopathy include lumbar laminectomy and lumbar fusions.

The ultimate intent of any treatment is to relieve your pain and restore function so you can enjoy a high quality of life. 

If you’re suffering sciatica pain or have been diagnosed with lumbar radiculopathy, contact one of the offices of Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care in Plano, Texas, today. We can determine the root cause of your pain and offer a treatment plant that helps you find relief.

Call the most convenient location or use the online tool to schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you.

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