The lumbar spine refers to the lower back, where the spine curves inward toward the abdomen. It starts about five or six inches below the shoulder blades, and connects with the thoracic spine at the top and extends downward to the sacral spine.The lumbar vertebrae are the five vertebrae between the rib cage and the pelvis. They are the largest segments of the vertebral column. They are designated L1 to L5, starting at the top. The lumbar vertebrae help support the weight of the body, and permit movement.
There are two types of joint in the lumbar spine. Both of these articulations are not unique to the lumbar vertebrae, and are present throughout the vertebral column.
- Between vertebral bodies – adjacent vertebral bodies are joined by intervertebral discs, made of fibrocartilage. This is a type of cartilaginous joint, known as a symphysis.
- Between vertebral arches – formed by the articulation of superior and inferior articular processes from adjacent vertebrae. It is a synovial type joint.
The lumbosacral joint is a joint of the body, between the last lumbar vertebra and the first sacral segment of the vertebral column.
Common conditions of lumbar joints include:
- Lumbar Osteoarthritis
- Facet Joint Disorders
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