Compressed nerves in the lumbar vertebral region
Four out of five adults experience neck or back pain at some point in their lives. The lower back is the most common area for this pain to occur, often as a result of compressed, or pinched, nerves in the lumbar (lower) spine.
Because the lumbar spine is responsible for supporting the body’s weight and maintaining flexibility in the spine, this section of the spine is the most common location for nerve pain. Repetitive bending and twisting compounds the natural wear and tear of an aging spine, making the lower back particularly prone to conditions like spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis, both of which can result in nerve compression.
Lumbar nerve compression and sciatica
Sciatica is a term generally associated with pain in the lower back. This condition refers to a series of symptoms and pain that develop when the sciatic nerve in the lumbar spine is compressed.
The sciatic nerve originates at the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae (L4 and L5) and extends downward through the buttocks and into the lower leg. It is the largest nerve in the human body and therefore is vulnerable to becoming pinched or compressed.
If you have experienced symptoms of a compressed nerve near the lumbar vertebrae, there’s a good chance it was the sciatic nerve or one of the branches leading into it. The symptoms associated with a compressed sciatic nerve are called sciatica and can include:
- Local or traveling pain
- Leg muscle weakness
It’s important to remember that sciatica itself is not a condition, but rather a series of symptoms that result from a spine condition pressing against the sciatic nerve. These lumbar spine conditions can include:
- Herniated discs
- Bulging discs
- Bone spurs
- Facet disease
- Degenerative disc disease
Treatment options for lumbar nerve compression
Once your condition is diagnosed, your physician may prescribe a course of conservative treatment, including pain medication, physical therapy, massage or lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or improving posture.
If chronic lower back pain continues despite months of conservative treatment, surgery may become an option to relieve the pain of a compressed nerve in the lumbar vertebrae. Before choosing a spine surgery for your condition, contact Laser Spine Institute and ask about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery.
These state-of-the-art procedures are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open back surgery and are often the clinically appropriate first choice between the two.^ To treat a compressed nerve in the lumbar spine, we offer both minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization surgery. Our procedures offer a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication compared to traditional open back surgery.
Contact Laser Spine Institute today for a review of your MRI or CT scan, provided to you at no cost,* to help you find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.