What is Radicular Pain?
Radicular pain is a type of back pain that spreads from the back and travels down the leg below the knee, although back pain is not always felt. This type of pain is thought to originate from irritated nerves near the spine.
What causes radicular pain?
Radicular pain is believed to be caused by issues with the intervertebral disc. These discs are made of strong ligament and cartilage tissue in which act as natural shock absorbers for the spine. Changes in the shape of the disc can irritate nearby nerves and soft tissues.
How do I know if I have radicular pain?
You may experience radicular pain if you:
- Feel leg pain worse than back pain
- Numbness in your foot
- Have a feeling of weakness on your leg
Your physiotherapist will be able to diagnose your condition by asking you a variety of questions and examining your legs and back. It is possible for your physiotherapist to complete nerve tests. Imaging is not necessary to diagnose your condition.
How can physiotherapy help with radicular pain?
A physiotherapist will be able to help you by diagnosing your condition and ensuring that it isn’t any other serious conditions. Your physiotherapist can help you manage the condition by showing you self-management techniques, education, exercises or a combination of these.
What can I do at home?
It is important that you ensure you keep to what your physiotherapist has instructed you to do. It is important that you stay active during your recovery, including gradually completing more activities each day. If your work aggravates your pain it is suggested that you see your physiotherapist to modify work tasks and build your physical capacity.
How long will my recovery be?
Near to 90% of people recover within 3 months whilst 1 in 3 people can improve within 2 weeks. This type of back pain generally take the longest to recover from. Team management approaches may be needed if pain persists.
If you would like to find out more please call us or book an appointment here.
Reference: Australian Physiotherapy Association 2019, Your Body, viewed 19 November 2019, < https://australian.physio/>.