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Posted on 01-28-2017
We started at Atlas, the first cervical (neck) vertebrae, descended through the twelve thoracic vertebrae and now we have arrived at the lumbar spine, often referred to as the low back. The lumbar spine takes a beating throughout your life. It carries the rest of your body and has to put up with injuries, poor posture, bad lifting habits and all of the other stressful activities you throw at it.
The lumbar spine normally consists of five large, blocky vertebrae which are referred to as L1 through L5. The bone below the last lumbar vertebrae is called the sacrum, and normally consists of five fused vertebrae. The reason that we say "normally" for both of these is that sometimes L5 will fuse to the sacrum, so that the individual has only four free moving lumbar vertebrae. This is called the sacralization of L5. It can go the other way, as well, with the first sacral vertebrae not fusing to the sacrum, leaving the individual with six movable lumbar vertebrae. This is referred to as the lumbaralization of S1.
As with the cervical and thoracic spines, lumbar nerve roots exit the spine between each pair of lumbar vertebrae, on the left and the right. These can become pinched, either through a damaged intervertebral disk or due to constriction of the space where the nerve root exits between vertebrae. The lumbar nerve root injury we are most familiar with is an impingement on the sciatic nerve. The condition is also know as sciatica. With sciatica, the patient can experience pain anywhere along the path of the sciatic nerve, in the low back, through the middle of the buttock, down the back of the knee, across the bottom of the foot to the great toe. Nerve root issues in the lumbar spine are treated successfully with gentle chiropractic adjustments and the other modalities available to Dr. Gallantine and his staff here at Lexington Family Chiropractic.
To find out how a healthier back leads to a happier outlook, please contact us and arrange a visit. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Remember, you don't have to live with the pain!
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