Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)

Sciatica is an irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the lumbar spine, or lower back. Because these nerves travel to the hips, buttocks, legs and feet, an injury in the lumbar spine can cause symptoms in these areas. Sciatica may result from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the lumbar spinal column.

One common cause is a herniated disc. A herniated disc is a rupture in the fibrous outer wall of a vertebral disc, which allows the soft nucleus of the disc to bulge outward. This bulge can press harmfully against a nerve root. Another common cause of nerve root injury is degenerative disc disease which occurs when a spinal disc weakens, allowing vertebral bones above and below the disc to shift out of position. When this happens, the bones can touch which pinches nearby nerve roots. Another cause is spinal stenosis which happens when bones, discs or joints of the spine degenerate and bone spurs form and push into the spinal canal creating harmful pressure against the nerve roots. Your PCA physician will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan.