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.
All lumbar spinal nerve roots originate at the T10 to L1 vertebral level, where the spinal cord ends as the conus medullaris. A dorsal or posterior (somatic sensory) root from the posterolateral aspect of the spinal cord and a ventral or anterior (somatic motor) root from the anterolateral aspect of the cord join in the spinal canal to form the spinal nerve root. The roots then course down through the spinal canal, forming the cauda equina, until they exit at their respective neural (intervertebral) foramina as a single pair of spinal nerves. Thus, the lumbar nerve roots exit the spinal canal at a lower level than where they arise.
Common conditions of lumbar nerves include:
- Lumbar Nerve Injuries
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
- Lumbar Radiculopathy.
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