When you think of lumbar radiculopathy, you’re really thinking of two issues. The first issue is the discomfort someone feels traveling down from their hip into their leg and foot, which most often manifests as tingling, numbness, and deep pain. The second issue is the underlying cause of the discomfort, which is, in fact, an injury to the lower back. A spinal disc is being compressed, and that compresses and irritates a lumbar nerve root. The pain radiates from the area that the nerve affects; most common is the sciatic nerve, which causes a condition called sciatica. Lower nerve roots typically cause pain in the back of the leg, which higher ones affect the front. Lumbar radiculopathy, as a condition, is exceptionally hard to identify because the area in pain is so far removed from the root cause of the pain. While lumbar radiculopathy stems from a problem in the lower back, people suffering from it very rarely report significant back pain, so the fact that it most often results from a herniated disc is not a conclusion that most would come to on their own.
A slipped or herniated disc can be the result of any number of prior events. Age is a common and simple cause of herniation. Herniation occurs with the outer ring of a spinal disc is worn or torn, allowing the center portion to slip out; as we age, body parts wear down, the spine included. Another cause of herniation is obesity— the extra weight on the spine creates strain, and a sedentary lifestyle contributes to the weakening of supporting muscles. Age and weight are common causes of herniation, and the only preventative action we can take is general good health practices. But herniation can also be caused by trauma. If you work a very physically demanding job, you’re at an increased risk of disc herniation. In the process of bending, twisting, and lifting heavy objects, a disc may tear and slip as a result of that strain. Injuries sustained while on the job can be expensive to treat, and we recommend consulting with an attorney to consider pursuing some kind of legal action to recoup your medical expenses. Another situation in which you would be well-advised to consider a lawsuit is in the case of a car accident. The sharp jolting of the body, which tenses up in an attempt to control its own movement, puts intense stress on the spine and can cause a disc herniation. Neck and back pain is so common after car accidents, people often don’t think anything of it; however, nerve damage can be a lifelong affliction, and by the time they realize the extent of the treatment they will need, it’s too late.
If you or a loved one are dealing with this condition, whether it be the result of an accident or otherwise, give us a call. We’re going to talk to you and try to help you get it if you need the help with seeing a medical professional or someone that we can, we’re going to get you that help.