Patients suffering from L5 radiculitis may have difficulty finding a comfortable position. Many have had success draping themselves (belly down) over a large medicine ball (the sort you see in health clubs) with their knees on the ground. This position provides a minor degree of traction for the back (taking some of the pressure off the nerve). If this position is comfortable, pillows are strongly recommended under the knees. rem to mic
Initial treatment for the pain may involve one or a combination of the following interventions:
Once the initial period of severe pain is under control, a variety of treatments may be employed to address the underlying cause of the pain, such as a disc herniation, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease:
Modifying personal habits and lifestyle to prevent future exacerbation of the underlying cause of the pain is also important. For example, maintaining an appropriate body weight that's known not to aggravate the discs (this varies from patient to patient) as well as changing the way one goes about bending over for objects on the ground (heavy or light, it doesn't matter...all one has to do is bend in the wrong direction to invoke an episode). Another important lifestyle change that is usually recommended is to maintain a regular stretching and exercise program.
There are also a variety of surgeries that be employed to treat severe cases of radicular pain, depending on the underlying condition that the surgery addresses. To treat a disc herniation, which may cause persistent radiating pain, a microdiscectomy surgery is usually performed. This is a minimally invasive approach that removes the portion of the disc that presses against the nerve root. The surgery has a high success rate, minimal healing time (typically the patient will go home on the same day as the surgery), and usually provides immediate relief of the sciatica and other symptoms caused by a herniated disc. This surgery may be recommended after several weeks of non-surgical treatment, or even earlier if the pain and other sciatica symptoms are severe. However, even in discal herniations, the long term outcomes do not differ between those who undergo surgery and those who do not. The decision to undergo surgery is not trivial, and is preferably made in consultation with two or more physicians.
Pyriformis syndrome frequently overdiagnosed: what's often labeled pyriformis syndrome is more likely proximal radicular pain or referred pain.(Musculoskeletal Disorders)
May 01, 2008; SNOWMASS, COLO. -- Pyriformis syndrome as a cause of low back pain is greatly overdiagnosed, Dr. Zacharia Isaac asserted at a...