Sténose lombaire

La sténose spinale qui se produit dans le bas du dos est dénommé sténose du canal rachidien lombaire. This type of spinal stenosis is the most common because this area of the spine is very mobile and is the site of much of the wear and tear on the spinal discs and other tissues. The thoracic spine (the middle regions of the spine) is much less mobile and so experiences much less wear and tear, making thoracic spinal stenosis quite uncommon. Cervical spinal stenosis (i.e. spinal narrowing in the neck) is the second most common type of spinal stenosis diagnosis as this area of the body is also very mobile.

Spine Anatomy

Understanding spinal anatomy can help us appreciate how sténose du canal rachidien is acquired. A closer look at the structures of the spine reveals that each region of the spine is made up of four basic elements:

    • Vertebrae
    • Intervertebral discs
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  • Spinal cord
  • Spinal nerves

Lumbar Spine Anatomy

The lumbar spine region contains five vertebrae, referred to as L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5. The L denotes Lumbar and the number denotes level or position in the spine.

Between the vertebra are the shock-absorbing intervertebral discs. These help to maintain the height of the vertebral space and cushion the jolts and bumps to the spine to prevent the bones grinding against each other. The separation of the vertebra allow for the safe passage of spinal nerves out of the spinal column.

Vertebrae (in the lumbar spine and in the thoracic and cervical spinal segments) comprise facet joints which link vertebrae together and enable spinal mobility and stability. Intervertebral discs are named by the vertebrae that they separate, meaning that a disc that sits between the L4 and L5 vertebrae is known as L4/L5 disc, a thoracic T1/T2 (T=Thoracic) disc would be located between T1 and T2, et ainsi de suite.




Finally, each level of the spine houses nerves which have a particular function for the body. Le nerve map below delineates which nerves control which function. Knowing these can help isolate the site of spinal stenosis by tracing symptoms back to the compressed or compromised nerve.

Treating Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Treatment for sténose du canal rachidien lombaire depends largely on the severity of the narrowing in the lower back. Typically spinal stenosis progresses over a long period of time, meaning that it is usually treated conservatively with an understanding that therapy needs to address both the immediate health issues and the potential for the condition to progress. En tant que tel, lumbar spinal stenosis severity, the health of patient and their quality of life will be taken into account before determining the best type of treatment.

Please review traitement de la sténose spinale for more information.

Animation depicting L5/S1 Disc Protrusion

This two minute animation gives an overview of the anatomy of the spine and portrays what a disc protrusion might look like as it contributes to sténose du canal rachidien lombaire.

Spinal Nerve Map Table

The table below outlines spinal nerves with their associated function(s).

Segmental spinal Cord
level and Function
Level Function
Cl-C6 Neck flexors
Cl-T1 Neck extensors
C3, C4, C5 Supply diaphragm
C5, C6 Shoulder movement, raise arm (deltoid); flexion of elbow
(biceps); C6
externally rotates the arm (supinates)
C6, C7, C8 Extends elbow and wrist (triceps and wrist extensors);
pronates wrist
C7, C8, Tl Poignet fléchit
C8, Tl Fournir de petits muscles de la main
Tl -T6 lntercostals et le tronc dessus de la taille
T7-LL Les muscles abdominaux
Ll, L2, L3, L4 Flexion de la cuisse
L2, L3, L4 Adduction cuisse
L4, L5, S1 Enlèvement cuisse
L5, S1 S2 Extension de la jambe à la hanche (fessier)
L2, L3, L4 Extension de la jambe au niveau du genou (quadriceps)
L4, L5, S1, S2 Flexion de la jambe au niveau du genou (ischio-jambiers)
L4, L5, S1 Dorsiflexion de pied (jambier antérieur)
L4, L5, S1 Extension de doigts
L5, S1, S2 Flexion plantaire du pied
L5, S1, S2 Nexion de doigts