In the last 3 months, at any given time, 25% of people in the US report having low back pain. Lumbar radiculopathy, also known as sciatica or radiculitis, occurs when a nerve in your low back is injured, pinched, or compressed causing symptoms extending from the low back to your hip, leg, or foot. Injuries close to the spine such as a bulging intervertebral disc “herniated disc,” overstretching of a nerve or nerve root, or a tight piriformis muscle can cause pressure or injury to the nerves and nerve roots.
Conditions like bone spurs, arthritis, and inflammation can cause lumbar radiculopathy over time. Symptoms of lumbar radiculopathy include: pain or pressure in the back, hip, leg and foot, throbbing, aching, shooting, sharp, dull or burning pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the leg may occur. Pain may increase while coughing, sneezing, reaching, or sitting, patients may feel like they are unable to stand straight up due to feeling “stuck” in a stooped forward position, patients may have difficulty getting up from a chair, pain may be worse in the morning, and inability to remain in one position for a long period of time due to increased symptoms. Lumbar radiculopathy can be caused by sudden trauma or long-term stress. Risk factors include: repeated lifting, obesity, weight-bearing sports, smoking, sedentary lifestyles, and poor posture.
The majority of lumbar radiculopathy and sciatica cases recover without surgery, responding well to physical therapy. Physical therapy can help reduce pain, improve normal movement, and get patients back to their normal activities. Physical therapy can reduce pain by helping you understand how to avoid or modify activities causing pain. Physical therapy can restore normal movement by improving flexibility, strength, endurance, posture and improve overall quality of life. Click the link provided to learn more about how Physical Therapy can help Lumbar Radiculopathy and Sciatic pain.