What Are Causes of Pain in the Lower Back Near the L5-S1 Vertebrae?


Quick Answer

Pain in the area of the L5-S1 segment of the lumbar spine may be an indication sciatica, degenerative disk disease or herniated disk, according to Spine-Health. Other spinal conditions that impact the lumbar spine include osteoporosis and lumbar spinal stenosis.

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Full Answer

The L5 segment is a vertabral body belonging to the lumbar spine, which is located in the lower back, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Lumbar disk disease occurs through natural degeneration and aging, as the spinal disks compress from loss of fluid. The compression may cause the disk to bulge out or could trigger a ruptured, or herniated, disk. Most instances of herniated disk occur in the lumbar spine. Other symptoms of lumbar disk disease include muscle spasms in the back, changes in urinary or bowel functions, decreased reflexes in the knees or ankles and pain that occurs when coughing, sneezing, moving or standing for long periods of time.

Sciatica occurs when a bone spur or a herniated disk along the spine causes compression on the sciatic nerve, according to Mayo Clinic. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down through the hips and buttocks, branching down through each leg. Sciatica is generally only experienced on one side of the body and can cause inflammation and numbness of the impacted leg. Sciatic pain may feel like an electric shock or a mild ache and can range in intensity. In some cases surgery is necessary to relieve the pressure on the nerve.

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