The C5 Vertebra

The C5 Vertebra

The C5 vertebra is the fifth vertebra in the cervical spine, the section of the spine directly beneath the skull. It exists on a plane with the bottom of the thyroid cartilage – otherwise known as the Adam’s apple. The C5 vertebra is similar in structure to most of the other cervical vertebrae, except for C1, C2 and C7.

Conditions and symptoms

The C6 spinal nerve root emerges from a foramen in the C5 vertebra before going on to innervate the wrists and portions of the upper arm. As is the case with the intervertebral discs between all of the cervical vertebrae, the disc between the C6 and C7 vertebrae is particularly susceptible to injury or wear due to the fact that the cervical spine is more flexible than the rest of the spinal column. If the disc herniates, the C6 nerve root could become pinched, 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

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 alleviating your symptoms, call Laser Spine Institute today. Our surgeons perform minimally invasive spine procedures that can effectively treat neck and back pain that result from degenerative spinal conditions. Contact us today to receive a review of your most recent MRI or CT scan.