Lower back pain is a problem almost everyone experiences at least once, and it can severely affect your quality of life. If you are struggling with lower back pain, spine fellowship-trained neurosurgeon Dr. Pawel Jankowski can help. At his practice in Irvine and Newport Beach, California, Dr. Jankowski specializes in treating patients who have lower back pain that is not improving with conservative approaches. Find out about advanced treatments including artificial disc replacement and cutting-edge robot-assisted technologies by calling Dr. Jankowski today, or booking an appointment online.
Understanding the anatomy of the spine can be helpful in determining the possible source of your symptoms and educating yourself so that you can have more informed conversations with your doctor.
The human spine is divided into 4 distinct sections of bones known as “vertebrae”. At the top of the spinal column, the cervical spine (or neck) is made up of 7 vertebrae. Just below with 12 vertebrae, the thoracic spine comprises the mid-torso section of the human body. Below that is the lumbar spine with 5 vertebrae. Finally, at the very bottom of the spinal column—in the area of the hips—is the sacrum, the triangular-shaped portion made up of 5 fused bones.
All voluntary movement in your body is controlled by the brain, whose main communication pathway to the muscles is a large bundle of nerves collectively known as the spinal cord. Protection for this critical pathway is provided by the bones of the spinal column.
These bones, or vertebral bodies, have a number of important functions—one is to encircle and guard the spinal cord against trauma and another is to provide the skeletal support we need to walk upright.