Lumbosacral Radiculopathy Follow-up

Updated: Jan 25, 2018
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Individuals with lumbosacral radiculopathy need to have an understanding of the likely etiology of their pain. The examination findings of patients with acute LBP can often be suggestive, although no clinical or historical findings have been found to significantly correlate with confirmed pain generators.

Review the basic anatomy and biomechanics of the spine with the patient. Discuss the etiology of the patient's symptoms. Also discuss the treatment plan, including a description of the recommended imaging studies, medications, injections, and therapeutic exercises. Review proper posture, the biomechanics of the spine in the activities of daily living, and simple methods to reduce the patient's symptoms. These early and simple instructions enable the patient to become an active participant in the treatment as he or she progresses to a more comprehensive home exercise program.

Patients must understand that they are making a lifelong commitment to their maintenance exercise program, because the single most important risk factor for future episodes of back pain is a previous episode. Patient education should be considered an ongoing process that must be continually refined. Directed education should continue until the patient is independent in his or her maintenance exercise program.