JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lumbar spine. Illustration of the lower lumbar vertebrae. The lumbar vertebrae are the five lowest unfused bones of the human spine. Each vertebra has a wide disc-like body with bony processes projecting to the rear (to the left in this image). The lumbar vertebrae are thicker because they carry much of the body weight. They are separated by discs of cartilage (light blue). The spinal cord does not run through the lumbar spine, but nerve roots (light yellow) come off the bottom of the cord and pass through the lumbar spine. These nerves provide sensory functions to the lower body.
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