Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)

This con­di­tion is an irri­ta­tion or com­pres­sion of one or more nerve roots in the lum­bar spine. Because these nerves trav­el to the hips, but­tocks, legs and feet, an injury in the lum­bar spine can cause symp­toms in these areas. Sci­at­i­ca may result from a vari­ety of prob­lems with the bones and tis­sues of the lum­bar spinal column.

One com­mon cause for radicu­lopa­thy is a her­ni­at­ed disc. A her­ni­at­ed disc is a rup­ture in the fibrous out­er wall of a ver­te­bral disc, which allows the soft nucle­us of the disc to bulge out­ward. This bulge can press harm­ful­ly against a nerve root. Anoth­er com­mon cause of nerve root injury is degen­er­a­tive disc dis­ease. It occurs when a spinal disc weak­ens, allow­ing ver­te­bral bones above and below the disc to shift out of posi­tion. The bones can touch, pinch­ing near­by nerve roots. When bones, discs or joints of the spine degen­er­ate, bony spurs may form and push into the spinal canal or fora­men space. This is called spinal steno­sis, and it can also cre­ate harm­ful pres­sure against the nerve roots.