Lumbar radiculopathy (Sciatica) is a condition that generally ensues as a result of irritation of a spinal nerve, most commonly the sciatic nerve.
Since the sciatic nerve originates in the lower back and travels down the posterior part of each leg, lumbar radiculopathy is the common underlying issue in cases of low back pain. The symptoms of lumbar radiculopathy only manifest on one side of the body in most patients, and include steady low back pain, shooting pain signals down the buttock and leg, tingling, weakness, numbness, and loss of sensation and function in more severe, advanced cases. This collection of symptoms is commonly referred to as sciatica and sciatic pain.
What is Sciatica?
Since the term sciatica refers exclusively to the symptoms of pain that the patient experiences, and not their cause so it is not a diagnosis as much as an observable phenomenon. Lumbar radiculopathy can be an effect of spinal trauma or dysfunction, predominantly due to disc compression, irritation, degeneration, herniation or spinal stenosis, which are typically the result of injury to the spine and can be caused by accidents, poor posture, smoking, repetitive stress, deficient health, advanced age, and more.
The effects of compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve can fluctuate in intensity from mild discomfort to immobilizing pain, depending on the extent of trauma to the spine and nerve as well as the length of time the condition has been present. Fortunately, the length of time it takes to obtain relief from pain associated with this condition is not directly proportional to the length of time it has been present.