An Overview of the Lumbar Spine: Anatomy 101 for the Chiropractic Patient

lumbar spinal anatomyWhen people think about chiropractors, they usually think about trained healthcare professionals who focus on issues involving the back. Even though chiropractors can help with just about every area of the body, they do specialize in helping people who suffer from bad conditions, injuries, and discomfort. Without a doubt, one of the most common reasons why people seek help from a trained medical professional is lower back pain. Usually, this has to do with discomfort located in the lumbar region of the spine. When someone is talking about lumbar anatomy, what do patients need to know? Let’s take a closer look…

What Is the Lumbar Spine?

The lumbar spine refers to the bottom portion of the spine. It is located just above the pelvis and sacrum. The lumbar spine itself measures approximately six inches. There are a total of five bony vertebrae that make up the lumbar spine. They are numbered L1 through L5. They are not fused to each other and provide more support for the torso than any other vertebrae in the spine.

The last lumbar vertebra, L5, joined with S1, which is the top vertebrae of the sacrum. This is referred to as the lumbosacral joint. This joint has a significant amount of flexibility. The flexibility of this joint allows individuals to walk, run, and swing their hips from side to side. The lumbar region and sacrum are responsible for connecting to the pelvis.

Importantly, the lumbar vertebrae provide a significant amount of protection for the spinal cord. There are numerous nerve roots that originated in this location. This part of the spine is called the cauda equina, meaning that it resembles the tail of a horse. These nerves project from the spinal cord and power the glutes, legs, and feet.

Why Do People Have Lower Back Pain?

At the same time, it is not unusual for people to suffer from back pain in the lumbar region of the spine. Some of the most common causes of back pain in this area include:

  • An individual may have suffered a herniated disc in the back, at the most common location of between L3 and L4 or L4 and L5
  • Individuals may sleep, sit, or stand with improper posture
  • It is possible for someone to lift a heavy object with their back instead of their legs, leading to paraxial muscle strain
  • A fall from a significant height can put a lot of stress on the vertebrae in this location
  • Osteoarthritis can impact the lower spine
  • Degenerative disc disease can also lead to lower back pain

How Can Patients Take Care of the Lumbar Spine?

When lifting heavy objects, everyone should make sure they lift from their legs instead of their back. Particularly individuals who are older should avoid lifting in a jerking or twisting manner. Finally, before any athletic activities, everyone should stretch the back as well as the arms and legs.

A chiropractor can also help individuals take care of the lumbar spine. Most of the time individuals can benefit from adjustments that improve the alignment of the lower back. It is always better to prevent a lower back injury from taking place than to correct one that has already developed.

Reach Out to a Trained Chiropractor for Help with Lumbar Spine Issues

As you can see, the lumbar spine plays a critical role in supporting the rest of the body. Anyone who is having issues with the lumbar spine should reach out to a chiropractor for assistance. A chiropractor can address the root cause of lower back pain while also minimizing the chances of complications or side effects. If you’re suffering from low back pain, please reach out to us. We’re here to help!

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiropractors for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiropractors.


For More Information

We would be happy to answer any questions you have about this article, general spinal health or your specific situation. To discuss your symptoms and concerns call (208) 656-8883.

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Dr. Orchard is a unique Rexburg chiropractor who specializes in difficult cases that have not responded to other care. All treatment plans are highly individualized based on your specific history, needs and goals.

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