Pinched nerve in the back

Pain by location

A pinched lumbar nerve, as the name implies, occurs in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine. Below is a guideline of the most common symptoms experienced with a pinched nerve in the back.

  • Pinched nerve at L5. The L5 nerve controls the muscles that raise the foot and big toe. Consequently, compression of this nerve may lead to the weakening of these muscles.
  • Pinched nerve at S1. Impingement of the S1 nerve can lead to weakness of the large gastrocnemius muscle in the back of the calf, causing difficulty with foot push off. Numbness from the S1 nerve presents itself on the outside of the foot. Pain will be located in the lower back, running to the buttock, then down the back of the thigh and calf, to the lateral aspect of the foot (the little toe).
  • Pinched nerves at L3, L4 and L5. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It starts in the lower back at lumbar segment three (L3). The sciatic nerve roots run through the bony canal, and at each level in the lower back, a pair of nerve roots exit from the spine. Each nerve root is named for the upper vertebral body that it runs between — for example, the nerve that exits at L4-L5 is named L4. The nerve passing to the next level runs over a weak spot in the disc space, which is the reason discs tend to herniate (extrude) right under the sciatic nerve root and can cause sciatica. The sciatica symptoms (low back pain, leg pain, numbness, tingling and weakness) vary depending on where the pressure occurs on the nerve. For example, at lumbar segment five (L5) nerve impingement can cause weakness in extension of the big toe and potentially in the ankle — a condition called foot drop.

Pinched lumbar nerve treatments

Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive treatments to address the underlying cause of a pinched nerve in the back. Our discectomy, foraminotomy or laminotomy procedures are performed to relieve the pinched nerve and allow blood and nutrients to flow to the affected area again. The spine surgeons at Laser Spine Institute have performed these and other procedures thousands of times each year.

At Laser Spine Institute, our staff prides itself on providing exceptional service to everyone who walks through the doors. Read a few of our testimonials from previous patients to see what kind of an impact we have had on their lives.

Few people wish to undergo surgery with extensive hospital stays and painful recoveries. At Laser Spine Institute, we truly understand this, and it is why we provide an alternative through our outpatient surgical options. Ask for your no-cost MRI review* today to determine if you are a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery.

Find out more information about our incredible streamlined patient experience and see how we can help you find relief from a pinched lumbar nerve.

If you still have questions or would like to know how we can help you, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can.

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