Sacralization is a medical condition in which one or more vertebrae in the lower back fuse together. Most especially, the 5th lumbar vertebra (L5) and the 1st sacral vertebra (S1) are the most commonly involved in this condition.
Sacralization can be classified into complete and incomplete. A complete sacralization is when the L5 vertebra is completely fused with the sacrum, while incomplete sacralization is when there is partial fusion between the L5 and S1 vertebrae. The fusion can lead to abnormal stress on the adjacent joints, resulting in degenerative changes and arthritis. In some cases, it may also lead to spinal stenosis and nerve compression, causing pain and other symptoms.
The causes of sacralization are primarily genetic, congenital and lifestyle, which means they are present at birth and sometime our posture.
Some cause of sacralization are as follows:
- Genetic predisposition may lead to abnormal development of the vertebrae in the lower back, resulting in sacralization
- During fetal development, abnormalities in the formation of the lower back vertebrae can lead to sacralization.
- Trauma to the lower back region, such as a fracture or dislocation of the vertebrae, can result in abnormal fusion between the vertebrae, leading to sacralization.
- Degenerative changes in the spine, such as osteoarthritis, can lead to abnormal fusion between the vertebrae and sacralization.
- Infections or tumors affecting the lower back region can lead to sacralization.
- Inflammation in the spine, such as ankylosing spondylitis, can lead to sacralization.
Sacralization is a congenital condition, and many people who have it may not experience any symptoms. However, in some cases, sacralization may cause the following symptoms:
- Sacralization can cause chronic or occasional pain in the lower back, especially in the area of the affected vertebrae.
- The fusion of vertebrae in sacralization can lead to stiffness in the lower back, making it difficult to bend or twist.
- Due to stiffness and pain, people with sacralization may have a limited range of motion in their lower back.
- In some cases, sacralization can cause nerve compression, leading to numbness or tingling in the legs or feet.
- Nerve compression from sacralization can also cause muscle weakness in the legs or feet.
- Compression of the sciatic nerve can cause sciatica, a condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower back and legs.
In diagnosing sacralization, there are several techniques and at Esther’s Place Wellbeing Hub, the Physical Therapist will perform a physical Examination by evaluating the lower back, looking for signs of stiffness, limited range of motion and nerve compression. He/she may request for Medical images such as X-ray, CT scan, MRI and EMG (Electromyography) for confirmation and design a therapeutic modality that best fit your need or goals for speedily recovery.
He/she may use cryotherapy, thermotherapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, ultrasound therapy, electrical muscle stimulation, manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, lifestyle modification and proper posture education.
Contact Esther’s Place Wellbeing Hub on +233505721405 or locate us at Adenta Ritz Junction, Opposite GetAid Pharmacy for your Rehabilitation & Recovery, Pain Management, Active Aging, Sport Injury treatment etc…