Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica) is an irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the lumbar spine. 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.
Common causes include a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis:
- Herniated disc is a rupture in the fibrous outer wall of a vertebral disc and allows the soft nucleus of the disc to bulge outward. This bulge can press harmfully against a nerve root.
- Degenerative disc disease occurs when a spinal disc weakens, allowing vertebral bones above and below the disc to shift out of position. The bones can touch, pinching nearby nerve roots.
- Spinal stenosis is when bones, discs or joints of the spine degenerate, resulting in bony spurs to form and push into the spinal canal or foramen space. The spurs create harmful pressure against the spinal cord or nerve roots.