Above the Sacrum sits Lumbar 5 (L5) which is the largest and most inferior of all the vertebrae. Inferior meaning it is the last vertebrae at the base of the spine above the sacrum. It holds an incredible amount of weight which means it is the strongest but also takes a considerable amount of impact. This is where a lot of stress-related injuries happen.
Each vertebra is made up of a ‘body’ which is much of its mass where the intervertebral discs (or shock absorbers) sit. These discs as we know lie in between each vertebra and are made of a strong rubbery fibrocartilage. Attached to the back or posterior to the body is the vertebral arch, which surrounds and protects the spinal nerves. Several tiny processes extend from the arch and act as attachment points for other bones and muscles. The transverse processes which extend laterally or from the left and right of the arch at L5 are points where muscles attach and help to stabilise the spine and flex the thigh and hip. The spinous process extends to the posterior or in other words the bony bit that you see sticking out at the back.
There are 5 Lumbar vertebrae which are in the lower part of the spine, physical conditions connected to L5 include circulation problems in the legs and feet, cold feet, cramps in the claves, swelling of feet and legs.
In pregnancy, pressure from the baby pushing down on the pelvis can pain, swelling in the legs and feet. Water retention of just not problems with the circulation pushing blood back up the body.
Emotional and Psychological issues
Emotional and psychological issues associated with misalignment in this area are connected to the sacrum and include a lack of security, frustrations at not being able to do what you want and remaining stuck in a situation you don’t want, which then connects to lack of self-belief.
Any emotion that you repress will suck the juice right out of you and reduce the body’s ability to function at a healthy and adequate level. This action has 2 strands that work together to deplete your functioning. The first is the energy of the emotion itself and then the energy required to keep it repressed.
Take a quick look back at the Sacrum explanations as they connect to and impact on the issues related to L5. In terms of the legs, just have a think about what the legs help us do. They move us forward in life. We can walk, run, dance and just basically be mobile and move in any direction we want to easily and effortlessly……well! That is only when we feel fit and healthy emotionally and physically. Check out how you are walking. Are you striding confidently along your path or are you stumbling along, tripping and banging into things all the time? This tells you how you feel about the direction you are going in and how confident you feel about it, whether this is your career, job, family, relationship or how you feel about how well you can support yourself financially.
Lumbar 3,4 and 5 are very closely connected in terms of the emotional and psychological issues that are constructed through blockages caused by misalignments in this area. Guilt and shame are common denominators in these vertebrae, especially in relation to feeling responsible about expectations that are placed on you. It can be looking after the family or providing a roof over their heads and being able to financially support yourself and maybe others. This is about our very security and how secure do we feel within ourselves. Problems in the legs can be through anger or frustration over not feeling able to express your needs. Unable to move away from old habits, people or circumstances that are not good for you. You may be stubborn which gives you a false sense if power and therefore self-sabotaging and this may be where the pain, discomfort and feeling stuck is coming from.
Muscular pain and discomfort in the lower back area is to do with your attitude, i.e. are you feeling stiff and unbending or lost the ability to be flexible with others. What or who do you feel resistant to? Remember it’s about our direction in life, what lies ahead and pressure from others or how we are self-sabotaging our very sense of security.
The physical effects for L3 and L4 are different from L5 and will be discussed in other related sections.