Published: | Updated: July 4, 2017

Definition - What does Lumbar mean?

Lumbar, also known as lumbar vertebrae are the five vertebrae labeled L1 to L5 (top to down) at the low back between the rib cage and the pelvis. Lumbar vertebrae are very important for humans, as lumber vertebrae support the weight of the body and movement. Lumbar may be injured causing low back pain or other complexities due to a long period stress on them in the workplace (occupational ergonomics).

Safeopedia explains Lumbar

Lumbar vertebrae may be injured when people sit on their chairs in a inappropriate position for long time repeatedly and do not perform physical exercise. It may also be caused by carrying heavy loads on the head and shoulder or picking up heavy items while bending forward. The disease caused by such stress is known as lumber stenosis. Symptoms of lumber stenosis include:

  • Leg pain (sciatica)
  • Leg pain while waking (claudication)
  • Tingling, weakness or numbness in the lower back, buttocks and legs
  • Patients are comfortable while sitting, but standing upright and walking is difficult

Lumbar stenosis causes severe nerve damage. There are three major types of lumbar stenosis:

  1. Lateral stenosis - canal is compressed by bulging disc, herniated disc or bone protrusion
  2. Central stenosis - when the central canal in the lower back is choked
  3. Foraminal stenosis - when a nerve root in the lower back is pressed on and trapped by a bone spur in the foramen
This definition was written in the context of Occupational Health and Safety
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