A person with lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica) usually experiences a lot of pain especially on the back and the legs. But fist of all, we must know what lumbar radiculopathy really is. Lumbar radiculopathy is a condition wherein the intervertebral disc on the spine herniates which causes pressure and impingement on the nerve and nerve structures causing pain. The term radiculopathy comes from the word Radix, which means root. This condition gives the patient weakness, numbness and pain on the back and on the foot. The term herniation generally refers to slipping or sliding. The term sciatica generally refers to the pain or numbness of the leg due to the compression of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve can be found at the back of each leg but it originates in the lower spine. In lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica), when the nerve, nerve processes and other nerve structures are being compressed due to herniation and pressure, the blood flow to those vital parts are being impeded, thus making the nerve weak and unable to perform its function properly.
The pain that patients with lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica) can varies from case to case. Since pain is very subjective, it is very difficult to compare accurately. Usually, the pain in this condition is only manifested at one leg. The affected leg may feel very weak, numb and tingling sensations may be felt. It is important for the patients and their families to know that characteristics of the pain that is felt by people with lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica).
The pain in these cases usually starts gradually. It is not suddenly felt but it may increase in intensity over time. The pain usually begins after sitting or standing for a long period of time, usually at night. The pain may also be felt when the patient coughs, sneezes or sometimes even laughing can cause it. In some cases, the pain might be too severe that the affected person is not able to move and is temporarily disabled.
Pain can definitely affect a person’s performance. When something is painful, the patient may not be able to move correctly, he will not be able to participate in a lot of daily routines and most importantly, the patient will easily lose his or her focus. This can affect the patient’s job and his lifestyle too. As soon as lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica) is detected through an imaging study like MRI, the patient should undergo some serious physical therapy and pain management. Sciatica will usually subside if the underlying condition will be solved.
A treatment called spinal manipulation can possible correct and cure lumbar radiculopathy but is not a guarantee. Families and friends of the patients with this condition must take into consideration that these people will be feeling a lot of pain and they must endure in taking care of them. These patients can be extra cranky too. Since pain is the number one factor of immobility in lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica) then pain management and medications must be provided regularly without fail.