Overview of the L5 vertebra

The L5 vertebra is the lowest vertebra in the lumbar spine before the sacral spine begins and is the most common site of conditions such as herniated discs and spondylolisthesis. The lumbar spine is located in the lower back and is responsible for the support and flexibility of the upper body. The disc situated between the L5 and L4 vertebrae is extremely vulnerable to degenerative conditions associated with normal wear on the body as we age.

The reason for this vulnerability is that the joint formed by the L5 and L4 vertebrae are involved in a wide range of stress-inducing movements like standing upright, bending and twisting. This combination of flexibility and weight-bearing pressure places a great amount of stress on the L5 vertebra. To get an overview of the nerves and spinal conditions affected by the L5 vertebra and treatment options for the associated symptoms, read the following article.

Nerves at the L5 vertebrah

Among the nerves associated with this vertebra is the sciatic nerve — the largest nerve in the body. When the sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed at the L5 level, a patient can experience the following symptoms:

  • Localized pain
  • Radiating pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness

These symptoms can travel down the body to the front of the lower leg and foot. In addition, nerves that originate at the L5 vertebra affect the muscles that allow us to wiggle our toes.

Spinal conditions affecting the L5 vertebra

When the disc between the L4 and L5 vertebrae becomes worn out, it loses water content and elasticity. This can trigger the generation of bone spurs brought on as a result of disorders such as degenerative disc disease or osteoarthritis, as well as a result of normal stress on the body.

This degeneration of the lumbar spine can begin to place too much stress on the disc, causing the disc wall to weaken and bulge into the spinal canal, where it can come into contact with a nerve root or the spinal cord itself. A bulging disc between the lumbar vertebrae may not cause back pain, but when it does, the symptoms can be debilitating and extremely disruptive.

Treatment for conditions at the L5 vertebra

The best course of treatment for your spine condition will depend on your doctor’s diagnosis, but, generally nonsurgical therapies such as pain medication, physical therapy and chiropractic care are effective at managing the symptoms associated with L5 vertebra conditions. If this doesn’t prove true for you, a doctor may recommend surgery as an option. Before you commit to traditional open back surgery, we encourage you to research the benefits and advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our procedures provide patients with a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery.^ Contact our dedicated team with any questions or concerns you may have about our outpatient surgeries.

To treat a lumbar spine condition, we offer minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization surgeries. While most of our patients are recommended a minimally invasive decompression surgery, some patients may require a stabilization surgery to treat the damage in the lower back. Both types of procedures are performed through a less than 1-inch incision and do not require the muscles around the spine to be cut or torn by using muscle-sparing techniques. This care taken during surgery allows our patients to experience no lengthy recovery, with No key was entered for a stat to use. of patients undergoing decompression and No key was entered for a stat to use. undergoing stabilization procedures being able to return to work within three months after surgery.^

At Laser Spine Institute, we have helped more than 75,000 patients to date find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Let us help you on your journey to wellness by reviewing your no-cost MRI review.* We can determine if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery and provide you with the information you need to make a confident decision about your spine care.