Radiculopathy is actually a general term referring to nerve pain or weakness or numbness and other sensations.
It can be caused by nerve impingement, damage and sometimes, rarely, metabolic disorders within the nerve cells. More often it is caused by damage or impingement.
Impingement means the nerve is pinched by bones, inflammation or muscles or various other types of injury.
Sometimes autoimmune disorders can cause inflammation of a nerve and result in severe decay of a nerve and similar symptoms will result. Regardless, the condition is incredibly painful.
Diabetics will frequently experience these symptoms. People with injuries will also have these symptoms. Pain is severe and can seem like it will never end. Solutions are available.
What is lumbar Radiculopathy? Hopefully, this article will shed some light on the subject and lead the reader to a solution or at least to the proper therapists and physicians who are able to address the condition and provide relief.
The Real Meaning of Lumbar Radiculopathy
Radiculopathy is a disease which causes extreme pain wherever it occurs in the body. When it occurs in the lumbar region, the lower back of the body, it is blindingly painful. One almost cannot handle the pain. It takes one away from life.
It causes a person to lose function and thought, memory, and reason. Buttocks flame into hellish fire. Legs burn as though acid is poured through them like funnels down holes of pain. It is a suggestion of hell and this is a literal interpretation.
Usually the root of the spine is the central point of activity. This area becomes compressed for some reason or another.
It could be due to injury or autoimmune activity, perhaps even cancer. Physicians will be capable of determining the precise cause, but the cause will need to be determined. The nerve root is being pressed.
Pain in the leg or legs is the result and sometimes the base of the spine will be in excruciating pain as well. This is the answer to what is lumbar Radiculopathy, according to Emory Healthcare.
Referred pain is when the pain from Radiculopathy will radiate down the legs into the feet and toes. This is a secondary effect caused by the primary nerve impingement or damage.
Causes of Radiculopathy
There can be various causes of lumbar Radiculopathy. Osteophyte formation is one. Osteophytes are typically known as “bone spurs” They are typically caused by magnesium deficiencies resulting in what are known as calcium oxalate formations due to magnesium deficiencies or chronic injuries and even perhaps a combination of both.
The exact cause of which and the combination of which is not clearly known. Sometimes genetic conditions or even autoimmune conditions and even cancers can be causes. Arthritis can cause this as well.
Regardless, osteophytes are basically splinters off of the bones and they break off into the nerves, causing nerve pain and Radiculopathy. This is one cause.
MRIs or Magnetic Resonance Imaging can help to indentify if this is the issue. At older ages, typically over the age of 60, this can commonly occur.
Spinal stenosis, lumbar disc herniation or degeneration can also cause the nerves of the lumbar spine to degenerate and thus cause pain which will result in extreme pain which will radiate into the legs and into the lower extremities on down to the feet and toes. The pain can become extreme.
Sometimes the spinal cord can become involved. There can be degeneration of the spinal cord for various reasons. It could be from neurological diseases, injuries, chronic movement disorders, or other unknown or unidentified causes.
Diagnostic procedures will be required to determine the exact causes and this will take time. Doctors will begin with reflex testing to determine the extent of the damage, if any, and then go from there.
Blood tests will be performed to assess if there are any autoimmune dysfunctions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis as contributing factors.
Sometimes degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease may be a contributing factor. Diabetes can play a significant role, as can heart disease.
Testing for Radiculopathy Causes
Many tests will assist with the diagnosis of Radiculopathy. As there can be many causes, there have to be many testing procedures and this can take a significant period of time.
Primarily there will be blood tests required to tests to check for certain blood markers indicating different potentials for antigens which could indicates serious conditions which can be treated with other means unrelated to the condition directly.
After this is done, scans such as CT scans or MRI scans will need to be completed to determine if there are localized injuries.
There may be a waiting period to assess if these tests provide any positive results or if the tests need to be repeated in order to finalize any results.
It is important to remember that there may not be any conclusions reached by these tests. At such a lack of results, physicians may have to resort to certain treatments and see if these treatments are effective.
Sometimes this is also a means of testing. Often, if a certain treatment is successful, it will point in the proper direction to determine what the actual cause in and help doctors to find an exact cause.
Essentially, since there are too many causes in the condition, there are so many possibilities to contend with. This makes it a serious challenge to deal with for all healthcare professionals.
Fortunately, there are some treatments immediately available to help deal with the symptoms of lumbar Radiculopathy symptoms. One of these medications is Gabapentin. It was originally created as a drug for epilepsy.
While it essentially failed as a medication for seizures, it has been highly successful as a treatment for many types of nerve pain.
In fact, it has been highly successful for Radiculopathy pain, helping many people to lead normal lives despite even debilitating pain. There are other therapies available which will need to be determined by physicians.
Regardless, there is hope available for lumbar Radiculopathy and other forms of the condition. Also, as technology progresses, mores solutions will become available.