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Lumbar Radiculopathy (leg pain, numbness, tingling, weakness)
Lumbar radiculopathy indicates irritation or damage to the nerves of the low back which run down the legs to the feet. Patients feel different kinds of pain: sharp, stabbing, dull, achy, electrical and burning. Some patients experience numbness and tingling, and others have muscle weakness. The symptoms can “skip” spots as they travel down the legs. All of these symptoms occur together in the worst cases. The pain is often referred to a sciatica or sciatic pain.
These symptoms can be due to mechanical compression on a nerve. When a disc bulge or herniation smashes a nerve, pain and symptoms travel down the leg usually in the back of the legs. Other ligaments and bony spurs can also compress the nerves. Sometimes, the nerve will not be compressed but instead will be damaged by toxic fluid leaking from the disc itself.
It is important to identify the cause or causes of the pain and symptoms so that the proper treatment can be recommended.