The five vertebrae in the lumbar spine in the lower section of the back and are the largest and most powerful pieces of the movable portion of the spine. These vertebrae are separated by cartilage disks for cushioning and are supported by the powerful musculature and other soft tissue structures of the lower back. The lumbar spine, like the upper potions of the back, is used for neurological communications. The largest nerve in the human body, the sciatic nerve, also begins in the lumbar spine and extends through the legs and into the feet. This nerve is the reason why lower back injuries often cause pain that radiates down the legs. The lumbar spine is important to flexibility and strength and supports much of our weight. These functions make wear and tear inevitable, and explain the prevalence of injuries to the lower back. Identifying the causes of pain and how to address them requires expert attention. If you are interested in
learning more about common lumbar problems and treatments, please look
at our Patient Education Articles.
The spine physicians at New Mexico
Orthopaedics take a conservative approach to dealing with back pain
issues. Physicians here use a variety of non-invasive and minimally
invasive options before surgery is considered in most cases. The
National Committee for Quality Assurance recently recognized the spine
physicians at New Mexico Orthopaedics for providing excellent
conservative care for low back pain. This recognition reflects the
efforts of the spine center to protect patient interests and avoid
unneeded procedures. The spine team also includes two highly skilled
and experienced surgeons for cases where surgery is the best option.