Q:

What treatment is recommended for lumbar radicular pain?

A:

Quick Answer

Analgesics treat lumbar radicular pain, according to the Spine Diagnostic & Pain Treatment Center. A physician may also recommend treatment with epidural steroid injections, which involves injecting a steroid and possibly a painkiller directly into the problem area of the lower back. If the pain does not respond to these treatments or if a patient has progressive neurological deficits, a physician may recommend surgery to treat the problem.

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Full Answer

Lumbar radicular pain, also known as sciatica, is a sharp, shooting pain, explains the Spine Diagnostic & Pain Treatment Center. An individual usually feels the pain down the length of the leg, though the symptoms of lumbar radicular pain vary depending on which nerve root the pain affects. Lumbar radicular pain is usually due to osteophytes in the spine's lumbar region, or it occurs as a result of nerve root irritation following a spinal disc herniation.

If a physician notes that a patient has actual nerve dysfunction, he refers to the patient's condition as radiculopathy, states Spine-health. Though a herniated disc with nerve compression is the most common cause of radiculopathy, diabetes, foraminal stenosis, nerve root injuries or scar tissue from a prior spinal surgery can also cause this condition. A physician diagnoses radiculopathy after reviewing a patient's medical history and conducting a physical exam. The physician uses MRI and CT-myelogram imaging to confirm the diagnosis.

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