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What is lumbar ridiculopathy?



Lumbar ridiculopathy occurs when there is an impingement of a nerve in the lower back. This can cause pain, weakness and neurological symptoms such as numbness or pins and needles.


Soft tissue massage of the lower back muscles and connective tissue by specialist therapistAbove: Soft tissue massage of the lower back muscles and connective tissue by specialist therapist



What causes lumbar ridiculopathy?



Lumbar ridiculopathy is caused by a change in the structure of the lumbar spine (lower back) which creates compression of a nerve. This compression causes symptoms. Causes of this compression include:
  • Disc herniation
  • Repetitive loading of the spine
  • Acute injury
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Degenerative changes
  • Decreased disc height
  • Inflammation following trauma
  • Diabetes
  • Scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine)



Lower back pain assessment conducted by specialist MSK physiotherapistAbove: Lower back pain assessment conducted by specialist MSK physiotherapist



What are the symptoms of lumbar ridiculopathy?



Symptoms of lumbar ridiculopathy can spread into the legs as the nerves at the lumbar spine innervate the legs. Symptoms can include:
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain in the legs known as sciatica
  • Reduced range of movement
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles



Hacking percussion soft tissue massage conducted by an experienced therapistAbove: Hacking percussion soft tissue massage conducted by an experienced therapist



Physiotherapy for lumbar ridiculopathy



Physiotherapy can be very effective in treating lumbar ridiculopathy. At Physio.co.uk your physiotherapist will assess your lower back and provide individualised treatment. Treatment may include:
  • Cold/heat therapy
  • Advice on correct positioning/posture to relieve pain
  • Manipulation/mobilization
  • Acupuncture
  • Range of movement exercises
  • Stretching exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Advice on preventing future reoccurrence

Can lumbar ridiculopathy cause any long-term effects?



Physiotherapy can resolve symptoms in most cases and a full recovery can be made. If physiotherapy is not effective then injections can be used to treat the problem. If this is also unsuccessful then surgery can be used to correct the problem. Physiotherapy is important in rehabilitation from surgery.


Progressive strengthening exercises for the lower back supervised by specialist MSK physiotherapistAbove: Progressive strengthening exercises for the lower back supervised by specialist MSK physiotherapist



To arrange an assessment with Physio.co.uk please contact us or call 0330 088 7800.