Lumbar Spine Disease Treated by Neurology Doctors in Baltimore


This video shows the anatomy of the spine in the lower back, common injuries in this area, and their treatment.

The neurology specialists of The Neurology Center at Mercy in Baltimore, Maryland, evaluate lumbar spine disease. Our doctors work closely with other Mercy specialists to ensure that patients get the best comprehensive care for lumbar spine disease. 

About the Condition

Lumbar spine disease consists of a group of conditions that affect the lumbar region or lower back.  

Types of Lumbar Spine Disease

Lumbar spine disease can include:

Lumbar Degenerative Disc

Lumbar degenerative disc is caused by the normal aging process. The condition can also be accelerated by the daily wear and tear of activities, or an injury to the back.

Lumbar Radiculopathy

Lumbar radiculopathy can be caused by many diseases. It is often due to a herniated disc, bone spur, or an injury. The most common type of pain is sciatica, or pain that moves from the lower back to the back of the leg.  

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal located in the lumbar region or the lower back. When a bone or tissue grows abnormally, it reduces the size of the openings in the spinal bones.  This causes a squeezing-like pressure on the spinal cord and creates numbness, as well as weakness in the legs, feet and buttocks.

What Causes Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis is caused by degenerative arthritis and degenerative disc, also known as spondylosis.  

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Lumbar Degenerative Disc

Lumbar Degenerative symptoms include:

  • Pain in the center of the back
  • Intense pain with certain activities, like lifting heavy items
  • Stiffness
  • Pain  in the thighs and buttocks

To diagnose the doctor will take a complete medical history and perform a physical exam. To assist with obtaining an accurate diagnosis, diagnostic tests are ordered, including X-ray and MRI. 

Lumbar Radiculopathy

Common signs and symptoms of lumbar radiculopathy include:

  • Sciatica pain
  • Numbness and tingling in the leg or foot
  • Weakness

To diagnose lumbar radiculopathy the following is performed:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • EMG
  • CT
  • MRI

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar spinal stenosis symptoms include numbness and weakness in the legs, feet and buttocks. Other symptoms include:

  • Low back pain
  • Loss of bladder control (severe cases)

The doctor will take a full medical history, physical exam and order diagnostic tests such as an X-ray and CT scan to help with diagnosing lumbar spinal stenosis.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Lumbar Degenerative Disc

The first goal of treatment is to use non-surgical treatment whenever possible. Non-surgical treatments may include medication, physical therapy and steroid injections. If these treatment options do not work, surgery is considered.

Lumbar Radiculopathy

The treatment option will depend on the cause of lumbar radiculopathy. Treatment options may include:

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Mild to moderate lumbar spinal stenosis can be treated with physical therapy, X-rays and CT scan. For more difficult lumbar spinal stenosis conditions, surgery may be recommended.