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Radicular Pain

Radicular pain is pain which is caused by compression, inflammation and/or injury to the nerve as it exits the vertebra (back bone).

Common Signs & Symptoms

Pain which spreads from the lower spine to the lower back, gluteal muscles, back of the upper thigh, calf and foot. You may experience pins and needles or numbness in these areas.

Description

Radicular pain is pain which is caused by compression, inflammation and/or injury to the nerve as it exits the vertebra (back bone). This compression causes you to feel pain which spreads (often) along the full length of the nerve being irritated. The most common example is sciatica, where ‘pinching’ of the nerve in the back can lead you to feel pain from the lower spine to the lower back, gluteal muscles, back of the upper thigh, calf and foot.

Radicular pain can be caused by problems such as discogenic dysfunction, foraminal stenosis or osteophytes, and many other conditions in the lower back which press on the nerve.

Advice & Treatment

Seek treatment as soon as possible, to prevent muscle weakness developing.

Initial treatment:
Rest for one or two days, if the pain is severe
Ice will help to reduce inflammation (for periods of up to 10 minutes, hourly)
Heat after 3 days will encourage blood flow to help the irritated area to heal
Regular anti-inflammatory medication will help to settle the reaction of your body, but do speak to your pharmacist to make sure you are ok to take these
Pain killers can usually be taken with your anti-inflammatory medication, just ask your pharmacist or doctor

Treatment after two days
Depending on the reason for your problem, manual physiotherapy and exercises help to combat muscle spasm, disc and joint problems
Myofascial release, acupuncture and massage therapy can help to relieve pain

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