Spine-health, InnerBody and Healthline provide pictures of the lumbar spine. Spine-health shows the lumbar spine with labels identifying the five lumbar vertebrae. InnerBody provides several views of the lumbar spine, while Healthline offers lumbar spine pictures showing superficial muscles, deep muscles, vertebrae and nerves, and meninges and nerves.
The lumbar spine is the area of the lower back, about 6 inches below the shoulder blades, where the spine curves toward the abdomen. It is comprised of five vertebrae, referred to as L-1, L-2, L-3, L-4 and L-5. This area bears the weight of the entire body, with the greatest stress being borne by the two lowest vertebrae; therefore, L-4 and L-5 are commonly injured and degraded.
Pain often arises in the lumbar area due to injury, infection, arthritis and poor posture. Muscle strain is the most frequent cause of pain in this area, but it usually heals within a few days or weeks. Disc degeneration, which occurs with age, is another common cause of lumbar pain. Herniated discs, which may occur due to injury or over time, also result in lumbar pain. Sciatic pain, which radiates down the back of the leg, is a common symptom of a herniated lumbar disc. Osteoarthritis, which wears away the cartilage surrounding the vertebrae, can cause pressure on nerves that results in pain and limited range of motion.