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Old June 12th 04, 06:57 AM
Todd Gastaldo
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Default Lumbarization 6th lumbar vertebrae

Steinberg et al. (and PREGNANT WOMEN) Please see the very end of this post.


"Toni" wrote in message

Anyone know if this could be a problem during birth? I went to a
chiropractor last summer for pain in my lower back and he told me I had
a 6th lumbar vertebrae, (I guess meaning 2 tailbones) and he said it
could cause more pain during pregnancy for some and my doctor tells me
not to worry. Anybody ever hear of such a thing?


The sacrum is a single bone comprised of five sacral vertebrae that are
normally fused. (The coccyx - or tailbone - is a much smaller single bone -
at the very end of your spine comprised of three to five tiny coccygeal
vertebrae that are fused.)

Sounds like you are aware that you have a "lumbarization"
of your first sacral vertebra (S1) - meaning that the
first sacral segment - which is usally fused to the rest of the sacrum -
instead *articulates* with the rest of the sacrum - like the last lumbar
vertebra does - hence the "6th lumbar vertebra" phrase - but I'm pretty sure
that 6th "lumbar" vertebra is a sacral vertebra - so they call it a "sacral
lumbarization." (Phew! Long sentence - sorry!)

Hopefully Steinberg et al. (see below) will correct me if I am wrong.

Here's a photo of an actual sacrum with a partial lumbarization of S1... --this sacrum is
sideways - S1 is on the left in the photo

In one study, roughly 1 in 20 women demonstrated lumbarization.

In another study - Steinberg et al's study of Israeli army recruits -
frequency of lumbarization was increased in recruits with a history of low
back pain.

Your doctor of chiropractic may have been thinking that with ligaments
hormonally relaxed - as occurs in pregnancy - the lumbarization might cause
low back pain.

I found NO studies when I searched PubMed for "lumbarization pregnancy" and
"transitional vertebra pregnancy."

My bet is that your medical doctor is right - you will not suffer more (or
any) back pain because of your lumbarization - but there are no guarantees.

If you still have your chiropractor's phone number, and are willing to call
him/her, I would be interested in any studies s/he knows of that
specifically found frequency of lumbarization was increased in pregnant
women who suffered low back pain.

Here are the two abstracts mentioned above...
J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1989 Jun;12(3):200-4. PubMed abstract

Prevalence of spondylolisthesis, transitional anomalies and low intercrestal
line in a chiropractic patient population.

Leboeuf C, Kimber D, White K.

Australian Spinal Research Foundation.

Five hundred and thirty radiographs were screened for the presence of
certain lumbosacral anomalies. The prevalence of spondylolisthesis was found
to be 5.1%, lumbarization 6.0%, sacralization 5.5% and low intercrestal line
56.9%. There was no greater prevalence in patients suffering from low back
pain when compared against those who did not. There was a propensity for a
low intercrestal line among females. Contrary to previous claims that
lumbarization is more common in men, we found a moderate predilection for
this finding among women. No difference between the two sexes was found in
the prevalence of sacralization, contradicting previous claims that is more
common in females, nor was spondylolisthesis found more frequently in men,
contrary to our expectations.

Clin Radiol. 2003 Dec;58(12):985-9. PubMed abstract

A comparative roentgenographic analysis of the lumbar spine in male army
recruits with and without lower back pain.

Steinberg EL, Luger E, Arbel R, Menachem A, Dekel S.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery "B", Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center,
Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.

AIM: To determine whether there is an association between lumbar spine
radiographic findings and reported current and/or past lower back pain
(LBP). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four hundred and sixty-four age-matched (mean
age 18 years+/-2 months) consecutive male army recruits were examined. Half
of them had a history of episodes of LBP. An orthopaedic evaluation
(including radiographs of the lumbar spine) is part of the routine medical
examination for all military recruits. Two senior orthopaedic surgeons and
one radiologist who performed the morphological measurements assessed the
radiographs. RESULTS: We found an increased frequency of right-sided
scoliosis, lumbar lordosis, sacral lumbarization, wedge vertebra, bilateral
spondylolysis of L5 and/or a sagittal diameter of less than 12 mm among the
recruits with LBP. No such association was found with spina bifida,
left-sided scoliosis, hemi-lumbarization, sacralization and
hemi-sacralization, Schmorl's nodules or mild degenerative changes.
CONCLUSION: Given that radiographic screening shows that LBP is more common
in those with spinal deformity it may be a reasonable means of predicting
which individuals are more likely to develop LBP.

I'll copy Steinberg et al. via

Maybe they know for sure whether sacral lumbarization frequency is increased
in pregnant women who suffer low back pain.

If you do suffer low back pain in your pregnancy, it is possible that gentle
spinal manipulation can help relieve it. Talk to your chiropractor of
course. (Hopefully he was able to offer you some relief last summer!)

Hope this helps.

NOTE: I am unlicensed by choice, practicing that huge neglected area of
chiropractic (education) for which no license or degree are necessary.

LICENSED practitioners - MDs - are rather gruesomely manipulating most
babies' spines - and I am working to stop them. See the postscript.



Dr. Gastaldo

PS Attn Steinberg et al.: Obstetricians and CNMwives are knowingly closing
birth canals up to 30%.

PREGNANT WOMEN: For PROOF (simple) - and also simple instructions on how to
allow your birth canal to OPEN the "extra" up to 30%...

See: I ain't no Semmelweis, but...