Thank you for joining me again this evening for our nightly podcast. I perform these podcasts in the hopes that you can a better educate yourself and make better informed decision regarding your health care in the future. I am doctor Harrison Campbell of Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office. Previously we broke down the board examinations required before you can obtain your doctor of chiropractic license. Tonight we will discussing spinal anatomy so that you can have a better understanding of your spine.
To start our discussion on spinal anatomy we broke down the parts of the spine although we focused on the cervical spine previously. Tonight we will cover both the thoracic and lumbar spine. As sugar land chiropractors know the thoracic spine is the mid back and the lumbar spine is the low back. Now as we covered last night, most vertebrae are composed of a vertebral body, two transverse processes, and posterior elements. Again these posterior elements include two lamina joining and a spinous process. The vertebral body combined with the lamina create ring which houses the spinal cord. Above and below the vertebral body where is joins with the lamina are facet joint which articular with the vertebrae above and below.
As sugar land chiropractors know there are twelve thoracic vertebrae and there are five lumbar vertebrae. We will cover the lumbar vertebrae first. To start the lumbar vertebrae are overall bigger than the rest of the vertebrae. This is primarily due to the weight bearing nature if these vertebrae. This extends to the disc as well. Previously we covered how the cervical intervertebral discs were all relatively the same height. This changes in the lumbar spine.
The disc heights in the lumbar spine are suppose to increase in height as you move down. This means the L one L two disc is smaller the the L four L five disc would be. This is important for when viewing X-ray imaging as sugar land chiropractors are aware. If you are looking as a sagittal view on the X-ray and you see an L four L five disc which is the same size or smaller than an L one L two disc you become suspicious that there is a potential disc herniation there. If the examination shows a patient with L four radiculopathy and you see the above mentioned thin disc between L four and L five you suspect disc herniation.
Now the disc in the thoracic spine are relatively inconsequential. That is not to say there are no disc injuries or a need to maintain the disc health but the risk of injury is relatively small when compared to the cervical or lumbar spine. This is due to the strength of the thoracic spine. In addition to the normal ligaments which hold the bones together through the thoracic spine there are the ribs and the ligaments which connect those ribs to the spine. This results is a very stable very protected portion of the spine. This mean that should sugar land chiropractors find an injury here there is usually a great deal of trauma causing the injury.
Now we covered the facet joint with the cervical spine and there are similar joint with the thoracic and lumbar spines as well. If you recall the facet joints in the cervical spine are orientated at forty five degrees. The facets in the thoracic spine change articulation from starting at forty five degrees at the connection of C seven and T one to ninety degrees at the connection of T twelve to L one.
Now the facet joints of the lumbar spine are at ninety degrees throughout. These angles play an important roll in the mobility of these areas of the spine. As sugar land chiropractors know due to the facet joint orientation in the lumbar spine this area is conducive to flexion and extension meaning forwards and backwards bending. The facet joints in the thoracic spine due to their transitions are a more jack of all trades. There is some of each motion depending on the segment discussed. This creates some ambiguity in the thoracic spine. However it is important to remember that due to the ribs and the protection this is designed to impart there is limited motion in the thoracic spine when compared to other body areas.
Lastly we will cover the unique vertebrae for the lumbar and thoracic spines. Most of the thoracic spine vertebrae are unique due to the ribs connections. There are special joints at the posterior aspect of the vertebral body where the ribs articulate with the spine. These joints can create problems and sugar land chiropractors are known to adjust these rib articulation from time to time. Usually no specific adjustment is needed however. Most adjustments when rendered to the thoracic spine adjust the rib articulations as well in what can be termed as clearing the ribs when performing a thoracic adjustment.
Most of the lumbar vertebrae are normal by comparison. The L three vertebrae has the widest transverse processes of any vertebrae. Why? There is no real biological answer for it. The L five vertebrae is typically the largest vertebral body due to it being the anchor point for the body weight. This is why the L five S one disc is also the largest. It is only when there is an anomaly that these vertebrae become unique. In some patients the first part of the sacrum did not fuse correctly creating a sixth lumbar vertebrae. In other patients the L five vertebrae fused with the sacrum giving only four lumbar vertebrae. Sometimes partial fusion happens creating lasting issues with the patient and making them ore prone to problems at a specific area. It should be noted that these fusions can occur in the cervical and thoracic spines as well.
Thank you for joining us this evening. I do hope you found the information on your spine informative and educational. Should you or someone you know require the services of sugar land chiropractors please call Restoration Health today in order to schedule an appointment. I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great podcast. Thanks and have a good night.