Components of the Sacral Region (Sacrum)
- The first three vertebrae in the sacral region have transverse processes that come together to form wide lateral wings called alae. These alae articulate with the blades of the pelvis (ilium).
- As part of the pelvic girdle, the sacrum forms the back wall of the pelvis and also forms joints at the hip bone called the sacroiliac joints.
- The sacrum contains a series of four openings on each side through which the sacral nerves and blood vessels run.
- The sacral canal runs down the center of the sacrum and represents the end of the vertebral canal.
A healthy sacral region is rarely fractured except in instances of serious injury, such as a fall or trauma to the area. However, patients with osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis are inclined to develop stress fractures and fatigue fractures in the sacrum.
Back pain or leg pain (sciatica) can typically arise due to injury where the lumbar spine and sacral region connect (at L5 – S1) because this section of the spine is subjected to a large amount of stress and twisting during certain activities, such as sports and sitting for long periods of time.
And for those who still don’t get it, you know those sexy dimples in the small of a woman’s back, this bone is responsible for them. They are called the Dimples of Venus, named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.