L5 disc herniation overview

An L5 disc herniation occurs in the last vertebrae located in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine. The lumbar region of the spine has five vertebrae, which are commonly labeled L1 to L5. Although, in rare cases, a person might have six lumbar vertebrae. Since the lower back bears the majority of a person’s weight, the lumbar region of the spine and the L5 vertebra is one of the most common locations for a herniated disc. To learn more about disc herniation symptoms and treatment options, read the following article.

What is a herniated disc?

As pressure is continually placed on a spinal disc from everyday activities such as walking and sitting, and from strenuous actives such as lifting large amounts of weight, the disc begins to degenerate or break down. This degeneration can eventually cause a herniation, which occurs when the tough exterior of the disc breaks open and allows the gel-like interior to seep out. As a result, spinal nerves can become pinched, sometimes leading to significant pain and a number of other symptoms.

L5 disc herniation symptoms

When the nerve root located between the L4 and L5 vertebra or between the L5 and S1 vertebra becomes compressed, patients may experience weakness in the ankle and big toe. L5 disc herniation may also cause the top of a foot to become numb and pain may also be felt in a buttock. Other symptoms associated with a herniated disc include pain that increases with activity or when sitting, coughing or leaning forward.

L5 disc herniation treatment

While L5 disc herniation can cause many patients to experience the uncomfortable symptoms noted above, treatment options are available. If conservative treatments such as over-the-counter pain medications, hot and cold compresses and bed rest provide little to no relief, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how our minimally invasive procedures can help to alleviate your disc herniation symptoms.

At Laser Spine Institute, our procedures utilize small muscle-sparing incisions and are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open back surgery.^ To relieve a disc herniation at the L5 vertebra, our highly skilled surgeons are able to remove the herniated portion of the disc, thereby freeing up the compressed nerve. Reach out to our caring team today for a free review of your MRI or CT scan* to learn if you are a candidate for the outpatient procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute.