Lumbar Spine

What is Lumbar Spine?

Human spine is formed by arranging 33 vertebrae one over the other. These vertebrae are interspaced with discs which acts as shock absorbers and allows the spine to move forward, backward and sideways without causing any problem to its structural stability. The spine consists of three parts, the cervical spine, the thoracic spine and the lumbar spine. The cervical spine consists of the first seven vertebrae of the human spine. Cervical spine is slightly bending forward. The portion lower to cervical spine and containing the next twelve vertebrae which slightly bends backwards form the thoracic spine.


The lumbar spine starts for the lower end of thoracic spine and extends up to sacrum. It consists of five vertabrea L1 to L5 and are the biggest un fused vertebrae in the spine. The lowest segment in lumbar spine which includes L4, L5 and the disc is the most weight bearing segment of the spine and therefore is more prone to degeneration. The lumbosacral joint which is the joint formed between lumbar spine and sacrum allows considerable rotation and which make the pelvis and hips to swing when walking or running.

Lumbar Intervertebral Segment

Lumbar spine consists of five intervertebral segments known as lumbar segment 1 through 5. The segment 1 consists of vertebrae L1, L2 and the disc between them and segment 2 through 5 consists of respective vertebrae and discs. The disc between the vertebrae act as a shock absorber and avoid jarring of bones of the vertebrae. These vertebrae are connected to the back side of the spine through facet joints which allow bending and twisting movements to the lumbar spine.
Causes of pain in the lumbar space.

Muscular strain:Pain in lower back of the spine is usually caused by the muscular strain or muscular problems. Strains due to heavy lifting, stretching, and bending can cause strain to the muscles. Minor strains usually heal after a few days or weeks rest.

Degenerated disc:Discs are made of hard substances which act as cushions of shock absorbers and prevent the rubbing together of bones. As a person ages water content in the disc deteriorates and they become brittle and begins to degenerate. Degenerated discs can cause sever pain and uneasiness to the affected persons.

Hernia in discs:Hernia in discs is most commonly found in lumbar region. Sudden injuries caused due to heavy lifting and sporting activities or general wear and tear of spine can cause herniated discs. Sciatica which means leg pain is the main symptom of herniated discs.

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