The fifth lumbar vertebra, also known as the L5 vertebra, can be a source of tremendous pain and discomfort. The L4-L5 disc, located between your fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae, and the L5-S1 disc, between the fifth lumbar and first sacral bones, are among the most likely to become injured because they perform the most work. Your lumbar vertebrae support most of your body weight and assist with motions such as turning and twisting. Certain exercises can reduce or prevent fifth lumbar vertebra problems, but if you have existing back problems, ask your doctor before you do any exercises to address them.
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The pelvic tilt is a beneficial exercise for your L5 vertebra. It reduces lower back pain by strengthening your abdominal muscles and inhibiting your lower lumbar paraspinal muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Rest your hands on your pelvic bones on either side of your body. Contract your abdominal muscles and tilt your pelvis up to the ceiling by pressing your lower back into the floor. Release and repeat.
The hamstring stretch can help stabilize your lumbar spine. Lie on your back with your knees bent, keeping your spine in a neutral position. Raise your left leg into the air and straighten it by lifting your heel toward the ceiling. Hold your leg behind the upper thigh using both hands and gently pull the leg closer to your body. Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds, then release and repeat on the opposite side.
This exercise helps reduce lower back pain by strengthening your paraspinal muscles. Placing a pillow under your L5 vertebra can facilitate this exercise and help you perform it without pain. Lie on your back on the floor, or on the pillow, if using, with your legs straight. Place your hands by your sides, palms up. Tuck your chin and raise your torso a few inches off the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then release.
V-Shape Hip Joint Exercise
This exercise can reduce sciatica symptoms stemming from your fifth vertebra. Lie on your back and raise both arms overhead. Bend your knees into your chest and slowly straighten them up toward the ceiling. Make three small clockwise circles with your legs together, then perform three counterclockwise circles, legs together. Open your legs and perform the same circles again in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction. Keep your legs open as you lower them to the floor.
- The Steadman Clinic: Lumbar Disc Herniation
- "Foundations for Osteopathic Medicine"; Robert C. Ward, et al.; 2002
- Spine-Health; Lumbar Stabilization Exercises; Andrew J Cole, MD; April 2, 2001
- "The Seitai Method: A Holistic Approach to Staying Healthy through Stretching and Body Alignment: A Self-Treatment Guide"; Kuniaki Imoto; 2005