The fourth vertebra down in your lumbar region, the L4 holds the responsibility of bearing the weight of your torso above it just like its sibling vertebrae. Your lower back is the portion of your body that’s most responsible for your ability to stand, twist, and move properly and as a result it’s among the strongest areas of your body, while at the same time being the most prone to injury.
Since the kinds of nerves to be found in this region have different functions than those further up, injuries to the lumbar region present a bit differently than those above. While nerves do travel through this area, you are much more prone to experience pain, weakness and numbness from lumbar injuries, than you are to experience other seemingly unrelated health problems. The most common and notable of these is sciatica.
L4 Vertebra Conditions and Injuries
The nerves that travel at the L4 vertebra level are the sacral plexus and lumbar plexus ends. These provide sensory and motor nerves. Among the most important of these nerves is the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body, and can be the source of a painful and common injury known as sciatica.
Other nerves in this area include the superior gluteal, the quadratus femoris, the femoral and the obturator nerves, which impact pelvic and hip muscles. Nerve compressions and injuries in this region can take a number of forms, including osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and bulging or herniated discs.
Symptoms and Care
Most L4 injuries and conditions result in chronic lower back pain, a numbness, tingling or “pins and needles” feeling, and muscle weakness which can radiate through the buttocks, hips and even into the inside of the lower leg. When you’re feeling these symptoms, you should seek help from a qualified chiropractor.
For years, ACT Wellness has been the leading chiropractor in Woodbridge, VA. We specialize in wellness and care for spinal injuries at all levels, including the L3. Give us a call to schedule an appointment and evaluation today!