Did you know that the lumbar spine supports the most weight? With only five vertebrae, the lumbar spine is built for both power and flexibility. The word lumbar is derived from the Latin word “lumbus” which means lion. Considering the strength required of these five vertebrae, the name is certainly appropriate.
If we look at the areas of the body that are controlled by the nerves in the lumbar spine, we would see that it includes the large intestine, appendix, sex organs, uterus, bladder, legs, sciatic nerve, the muscles of the lower back, and abdomen. Because the lumbar spine bears the most weight, getting older means that this area of the spine is more susceptible to degradation and injury. It probably will not sound surprising to learn that the effort to lift objects is centralized in the lumbar spine, specifically between the L4 and L5 vertebrae and the L5 and first vertebrae in the adjacent part of the spine, the sacrum.
Once again, the symptoms that manifest themselves with a lumbar spine irritation can, on the surface, appear unrelated to the spine at all. Many people would not correlate pain in their bladder with an irritated or inflamed L3 lumbar disc. We could assume it was a bladder infection and go get a UTI test and possibly antibiotics. If there really is a vertebrae problem the UTI test would come back negative. Still, many still do not make the connection to the spine in a situation such as this. Why? Because modern Western medicine has trained us to simply address the symptoms, not the root cause of the symptoms.
From 2004-2012 there was a television series called “House, M.D.” It was a great show that starred a highly intelligent, yet highly unlikable doctor who specialized in medical cases that appeared, on the surface, as untreatable. He looked at each patient he saw as a puzzle that he must solve. He was relentless in his pursuit for a cure. He saw that every part of the body was interconnected. That the symptoms could be traced back to the root, or cause. We need to look at our body in the same way. Understanding and appreciating the language of our body can save us. It can save us time, money, and worry. Whenever you have pain or an unexplained symptom, don’t think symptom relief, think chiropractor.