Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)
What is Sciatica?
If you suddenly start feeling pain in your lower back or hip that radiates to the back of your thigh and into your leg, you may have sciatica. Sciatica occurs when there is pressure on the Sciatic Nerve which causes radiating pain or numbness from the back all the way down to the foot.
Causes of Sciatica
You are most likely to get sciatica between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Sciatica is caused by irritation of the root(s) of the lumbar and lumbosacral spine. Other causes of sciatica include:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back)
- Degenerative disc disease (breakdown of discs in between vertebrae)
- Spondylolisthesis (when one verteba slips forward over another one)
- Piriformis syndrome
Symptoms of Sciatica
Sciatica typically affects only one side of the body and often starts in the lower back and shoots down through the leg. You may have pain, especially when you sit, sneeze, or cough. You may also have weakness, “pins and needles” numbness, or a burning or tingling sensation down your leg.
Common symptoms of sciatica include:
- Pain in the buttocks or leg that gets worse when sitting
- Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
- Burning or tingling down the leg
- Lower back pain
- Shooting pain
Diagnoses and Treatment
Properly diagnosing sciatica is extremely important because typically sciatica is the result of a larger underlying issue. Once diagnosed, treatments can consist of NSAID’s, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and occasionally surgery to fix the underlying cause.
If you experience any of the previous listed symptoms, make an appointment with an AOA Orthopedic Specialist today!