Also commonly referred to as the lower back, the lumbar spine consists of five strong backbones combined with joint capsules, tendons, muscles, and sensitive nerves. It is the lower part of the spine, resting between the ribs and the pelvis region.
The lumbar spine provides strong support for the weight of the body. It surrounds the spinal cord, offering the spine and the spinal nerve roots much-needed protection. The lumbar spine is also highly flexible, allowing for a wide range of motion. Different diseases, if not treated properly, can affect the lumbar spine, such as arthritis, lower back pain, and degenerative disc disease, among many others. Although strengthening exercises can help some patients resume normal physical activity, sometimes the muscle fibers and nerves are too damaged.
At Ehline Law, our spinal cord personal injury attorneys deliver injured victims the swift justice they deserve. If you suffered lumbar injuries from an accident that was not your fault, reach out to our experienced attorneys, as you may be eligible for compensation to cover physical therapy and even low level laser therapy with neurological surgeons and others.
The lumbar spine is made up of five strong bones in the lower back, and when compared to other parts of the spine, the lumbar spine bones are considerably larger and shaped more like a block. The lumbar spine offers stability to the back while also having muscles and ligaments attached to it.
Besides supporting most of the body weight, the lumbar spine is also the center of the body’s balance. The lumbar spine and all the components that attach to it assist us in walking, running, sitting, and other activities. And an injury can lead to low back pain, leg pain and neck pain. Even seemingly minor back injuries can worsen with light physical stress over time, even during normal activities.
These are some of the functions your lumbar spine assists with.
The human body’s lumbar spine provides support to the cervical and thoracic spine, including the weight of the head. It connects to the pelvis and takes on most of the weight. The lumbar spine aids in lifting and carrying things. What’s interesting is that it is the center of balance, meaning it shifts some of the weight to the legs, allowing a person to stand or sit straight.
The lumbar spine is highly flexible and, when combined with all the muscles surrounding it in the lower back, it allows us to move in all different directions: front, back, side, twists, and even full circles. The two vertebrae (backbones) at the end of the lumbar spine aid in most of the movement.
The lumbar spine also has nerves that connect to the lower part of the body, mostly the legs, and because of the nerves, the lumbar spine also controls leg movements while registering sensations.
The spinal cord is an important part of the human body as it connects the brain to the lower back, helping feel sensations and aiding in movement. To protect the spine, it is mostly surrounded by bones. The lumbar spine also acts as a protection for the spine, especially the end of the spinal cord, from where all the nerves descend.
The lumbar spine consists of muscles, discs, ligaments, the spinal cord, nerves, and blood vessels.
Lumbar muscles and abdominal muscles work together to assist you in moving your torso and lower back. Muscles and ligaments are both responsible for providing strength and stability to the lower back, allowing individuals to bend, move, and rotate.
The muscles attached to the lumbar spine include:
The disks not only aid in absorbing shock but also bear the load from the spine, allowing movement between each vertebra. There are a total of five disks in the lumbar spine, and they can degenerate or herniate, resulting in lower back pain.
To keep the lumbar spine stable, ligaments help connect the bones, allowing for smooth spinal motion. It even absorbs the force from trauma.
Ligaments in the lumbar spine include the following:
The spinal cord consists of nerve tissue that extends from the lower part of the brain to the L1 vertebrae. The spinal cord is responsible for carrying signals from the brain to the muscles.
The five vertebrae have five pairs of spinal nerves branching off from them. These nerves extend from their respective vertebrae to the lower back, merging with other nerves to help control pain signals and aid in lower limb movement.
The lumbar spine consists of blood vessels that provide blood and nutrients to the muscles, ligaments, and spine in the lumbar region.
Strains are typically defined as tears of the muscle-tendon unit, which means that a lumbar strain is a tear in the muscles and tendons that make up the lumbar spine. The damaged tendons and muscles can experience spasms, resulting in soreness, pain and need for medical intervention and diagnostic procedures.
Lumbar strains and sprains are a type of injury to the lower back. These occur because of sudden forceful movements, causing the muscles to contract. Lumbar strain usually happens because of the overuse, force, or stretching of the tendons and muscles around the lumbar spine.
Lumbar strains and sprains are common among people who play sports. Lifting weights, playing football, basketball, tennis, or any other sport that requires physical activity (movements) can cause lumbar strain.
For example, the constant lifting of weights can put a lot of stress on the tendons and muscles surrounding the spine, resulting in a tear. A repetitive movement in the game of golf where the person uses their lower back to swing the golf club can also cause a lumbar strain. A physical examination of many back strains and sprains can often diagnose a need for additional physical medicine and rehabilitation for a full recovery. So don’t ignore low back injuries and don’t assume a massage or rest will heal everything.
A healthy individual is at a lower risk of a lumbar strain than those with the following risk factors:
Symptoms of a lumbar strain can vary from person to person. However, some of the most common symptoms of lumbar strain include:
Sometimes, the symptoms may also resemble other medical problems, so it is best to always speak to your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
From the symptoms, you may be able to tell whether you have a lumbar strain or not, but at times, these symptoms may also resemble other conditions.
It is best to get a proper medical examination done, and some of the tests that help diagnose lumbar strain are as follows:
Depending on your age, health, medical history, the severity of the injury, tolerance towards medication, and treatment preferences, a healthcare provider may be able to provide you with a treatment for your muscle strain injuries.
Lumbar muscle strain usually occurs simultaneously with muscle spasms. In many cases, doctors recommend the following:
Acute low back pain from muscle strains and even tingling shoulders can last up to four weeks and is painful. Doctors typically recommend muscle relaxants to ease the pain. To reduce chronic low back pain, medical professionals advise doing regular exercise, yoga, or even tai-chi. There are also other forms of non-pharmacologic approaches that medical professionals recommend for reducing chronic low back pain.
Some of these complications include physical medicine, psychotherapy, spinal manipulation, and electromyogram biofeedback. Muscle relaxants and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac can ease chronic pain.
An injury can cause an injured victim’s life to spiral out of control. If you have suffered lumbar injuries and require aggressive legal representation to recover compensation for your loss, contact us at +(833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation in your catastrophic injury case.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.