Can you see the bones that stack up on each other to make your spine?

Let’s keep it simple and get to know your lower back.

Location: Your lower back, also called the lumbar region, is the area below your ribcage and above your hips. It’s made up of five vertebrae, or small square bones, stacked on top of each other. The the bottom Lumbar vertebra is number 5 and they number up from there. So if you read L4 on an xray, it is referring to the 4th Lumbar vertebra in the stack of 5. So the second to bottom one.


Joints and Discs:
The space between each vertebra is called a joint, and a shock-absorbing disc sit in each of these joints. These allow movement and protect your spine.

The blue bits between the bones are your discs!

Muscles: There are LOTS of muscles that surround your lower back. There are big strong muscles on the outside that you can touch (front and back) that provide support, but also a whole lot of tiny little muscles deep inside that you probably don’t know about, that provide stability. There are even muscles that wrap around you from the front to the back.Think of them all as your body’s built-in back brace.

These are the big muscles that you can sometimes see rippling under the skin

These are the tiny little muscles that are more like little rubber bands that go from one vertebar to the next

Curves: Your lower back has a slight inward curve (lordosis) that’s important for balance and shock absorption.

Purpose: Your lower back is like a flexible bridge between your upper body and legs. It helps you stand, bend, twist, and lift things.

Common Troublemakers: The most common cause of lower back pain is stiffness in the joints, or damage to the disc. When these occur, the muscles try to help to protect the back, and also commonly become super tight or strained.

Remember, your lower back is a vital part of your body, and taking care of it can make a big difference in your overall well-being. If you have questions or need advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to a physiotherapist like me! We’re here to support your spine’s health journey.

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