The C5 vertebra

The C5 vertebra is the fifth vertebra in your neck — the section of the spine directly beneath the skull. It sits level with the bottom of the thyroid cartilage, otherwise known as the Adam’s apple.

Conditions and symptoms

The C6 spinal nerve root emerges from the opening in the C5 vertebra before bringing the nerves to the wrists and portions of the upper arm. Just like all of the spinal discs between all of the cervical vertebrae, the disc between the C6 and C7 vertebrae is particularly susceptible to injury or wear and tear because the cervical spine is more flexible than the rest of the spinal column.

The frequent movements of the cervical spine put extra pressure on the spinal discs that support the vertebrae. The more stress placed on the discs, the higher chance of degeneration or injury to those discs, which may result in a bulging/herniated disc, stenosis or spinal arthritis. The C6 nerve root could become compressed, which can lead to symptoms like:

  • Pain in the side of the forearm
  • Pain in the thumbs and index fingers
  • Numbness or tingling in the arm or neck
  • Loss of mobility in the neck

If left untreated, these symptoms can make even simple activities difficult to accomplish.

Outpatient treatment options

If you are experiencing pain resulting from a herniated disc, foraminal stenosis, spinal arthritis or another spinal condition and a conservative treatment course is not relieving your symptoms, call Laser Spine Institute today.

Our minimally invasive spine surgery is often the clinically appropriate first over traditional open neck or back surgery. Our procedures offer many benefits to traditional open spine surgery, such as smaller incisions, shorter recovery periods^ and lower risk of infection and complication.

Ready to find out if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures? Contact us today for your no-cost MRI review* and start the journey to take your life back from chronic neck pain.