Q:

What is L5 and S1 nerve root impingement?

A:

Quick Answer

Impingement of a nerve between the L5 and S1 vertebrae indicates the structure is placing pressure on the nerve root. According to the Laser Spine Institute, this is one of the most common of all pinched nerves.

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Full Answer

This nerve root feeds the sciatic nerve, and impingement has the potential to affect the lower buttocks, legs and feet. The Laser Spine Institute lists sciatica symptoms as pain, numbness, tingling and burning. In severe cases, sciatica causes muscle weakness.

Removal of the cause of impingement is one of the most effective treatments, according to Reference.com. Ninety percent of cases heal naturally with supportive therapy when the underlying cause is lumbar disc herniation. Supportive therapy includes several options, such as acupuncture, chiropractics, tricyclic antidepressants, pain medication, physical therapy and surgery. There are also minimally invasive surgical options available.

WebMD indicates the pain is debilitating in some patients and infrequent and irritating for others. Infrequent pain has the potential to become worse. It is recommended that patients seek immediate attention if the lower extremities become progressively weaker, there is numbness in the upper thigh or the individual suffers loss of bowel or bladder control. Potential causes of impingement include narrowing of the spinal canal in one's lower back, degenerative disc disease and pregnancy. Lifestyle choices such as avoiding exercise, being overweight and wearing heels often make the pain from this condition worse, according to WebMD.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the treatment for a pinched nerve in the LF-S1 spinal area?

    A:

    Treatment for a pinched nerve in the L5 and S1, or sciatica, includes pain medication, stretching and physical therapy, states the Laser Spine Institute. However, chronic or severe cases can require surgery or alternative treatment options such as acupuncture or chiropractic therapy.

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  • Q:

    How do I describe how a spinal nerve exits from the vertebral column?

    A:

    Each spinal nerve exits the vertebral column through a small hole, or foramen, on the side of the corresponding vertebrae, CNS-Visual Perspectives explains. The cervical nerves in the upper part of the spine exit above the vertebrae, while the nerves below the seventh cervical vertebrae exit below.

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  • Q:

    What does the nerve in the at the C5 and C6 discs control?

    A:

    Cervical spinal nerve 6 originates from the spinal column through intervertebral foramen above cervical vertebra 6. According to Spine-Health, the C6 nerve controls the wrist extensor muscles that control wrist extension and hyperextension, which include the extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor carpi radialis brevis and extensor carpi ulnaris. The C6 also works in conjunction with the C5 nerve to innervate the biceps brachii.

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  • Q:

    What is an L5 S1 disc protrusion?

    A:

    A spinal disk protrusion is often referred to as a herniated or slipped disk and, when it occurs to the L5-S1 disk, it can cause leg and lower back pain, according to Spine-health. The inner portion of a herniated disk leaks out, or protrudes, putting pressure on the nerve root. Although it can be extremely painful, the condition rarely causes permanent damage or paralysis as there is no spinal cord in the L5-S1 area of the lumbar spine.

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