Transitional Vertebral Body (Extra Lumbar Vertebra)
A change in the number of mobile vertebrae of the lumbar spine of the lower back, is the most significant of the congenital vertebral anomalies that can cause low back pain. This is called a transitional vertebral body. A patient may essentially have 4 or 6 lumbar vertebrae instead of 5 lumbar vertebrae. A transitional vertebral body could be a lumbarization which in effect gives a person six lumbar vertebrae which can increase the lever arm action of the lumbar spine creating greater stress on the joints of the lower lumbar spine. A transitional vertebral body could be a sacralization which in effect is losing a vertebra. If the entire lumbar segment is solidly integrated into the sacrum lower back pain symptoms usually are less or the patient may experience no symptoms. But, when the transitional vertebral body only has one transverse process articulating with the sacrum, it can alter the spinal mechanics and result in severe instability and stress causing lower back pain. A transitional vertebral body with one sided contact can place unusual stress on the spine and the resulting torque movements may predispose that person to herniation of the disc one level above the transitional vertebra. Over time a transitional vertebral body may become arthritic and degenerative joint changes can occur with the attachment of the transverse process that forms a joint with the sacrum. When this occurs it can become very painful and affect the normal activities of daily life.
How to Manage a Transitional Vertebral Body
Learning the best exercises and stretches for the lower back pain associated with a transitional vertebral body can assist in managing the painful condition. Focusing on your postural positions and learning good mechanics to avoid activates that can irritate the transitional vertebral body can also help with management. As a Chiropractor in Phoenix I have seen many spines with a transitional vertebral body. Using Chiropractic and acupuncture has been shown to alleviate pain and when combined with the correct exercises and postural changes. Learning not to bend and twist at the waist can go a long way in preventing further insult to the transitional vertebra. It is better to practice preventative measures to manage the transitional vertebra then to wait to become so degenerative. Chiropractor in Phoenix and Chiropractor in North Phoenix managing Transitional vertebral body with manipulation, acupuncture and exercise.
this article on Transitional Vertebral Body is informational and not to be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition