16:12 PM

What You Should Know About the Lumbar Spine

Health Central highlights what you need to know about the lumbar spine according to Nnaemeka Echebiri, MD, physiatrist at HSS. 

So much depends on five bones in your lower back. These five vertebrae (in rare instances, actually six) are the bulwarks of your spinal column. Housing the lower part of the spinal cord, they provide the majority of support for your entire back, allowing you to twist, turn, bend, and rotate so you can move however you need to every day.

Known as the lumbar vertebrae, or “lumbar spine” (from L1 to L5 on your spinal column), they are located below the 12 chest (thoracic) vertebrae and above the five fused bones composing your triangular sacrum bone.

The lower you go down the spinal column, the bigger the vertebra, with the lumbar vertebrae the biggest in the entire spine—for good reason, noted Dr. Echebiri.  “The lumbar spine has the biggest vertebra because it supports the rest of the spine and everything above it.”

Its second major function, mobility, is just as important, Dr. Echebiri explained. “The lumbar spine has to stabilize the entire spine through all of its motions,” he said. “When you’re flexing and extending, leaning forward or bending at the waist, bending side to side, twisting, or pushing against or pulling things, your lumbar spine has a central part in it. Your lumbar spine is involved in all of those ranges of motion that you exercise daily.”

Read the full article at healthcentral.com.