L4-L5 disc herniation — symptoms and treatment options

The spinal disc located between the fourth and fifth lumbar (lower) vertebrae in the lower back is extremely vulnerable to degenerative conditions associated with the aging process. These conditions commonly develop in the lower back because that area of the spine bears much of the body’s weight. In addition, the relative flexibility of the lumbar spine allows for a wide range of bending, twisting and other movement, which can amplify the degenerative effects on the L4-L5 disc.

Herniation, which is when inner disc material pushes through a tear or weak spot in the outer layer, is one of the specific conditions that can occur as a result. Whether you have been diagnosed with this condition and are looking to learn more, or you are still researching potential causes of your lower back pain, the following information is intended to help you become a more informed patient as you work with your doctor to seek relief.

Symptoms associated with a herniated disc

Often an L4-L5 disc herniation does not produce symptoms. In fact, many people have a herniated disc in the lower back and never know it. Symptoms are often the result of compression or irritation of nervous tissue by displaced disc material. Patients will often report experiencing:

  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness or cramping

When nerve compression happens at the L4-L5 level, it often results in the symptoms traveling into the lower body, including the hips, buttocks, legs and feet.

Treating an L4-L5 disc herniation

In a large number of cases, symptoms associated with a herniated disc in the lower back can be effectively treated nonsurgically, using pain medication, physical therapy, stretching, behavior modification and other conservative methods. However, if chronic symptoms persist after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, surgery may become an option. If you are being recommended for surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery. By using muscle-sparing techniques, our board-certified surgeons+ are able to offer an outpatient procedure with less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine procedures.

Our caring and dedicated team can help you receive a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.