Sacralization refers to a condition in which one or more of the vertebrae in the lower back fuse together. Typically, the fifth lumbar vertebra (L5) and first sacral vertebra (S1) are the most commonly involved in this condition.


The causes of sacralization are primarily genetic and congenital, which means they are present at birth. Some possible causes of sacralization include:

  1. Genetic factors: A genetic predisposition may lead to abnormal development of the vertebrae in the lower back, resulting in sacralization.
  2. Abnormal fetal development: During fetal development, abnormalities in the formation of the lower back vertebrae can lead to sacralization.
  3. Trauma: 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.
  4. Degenerative changes: Degenerative changes in the spine, such as osteoarthritis, can lead to abnormal fusion between the vertebrae and sacralization.
  5. Infection or tumors: In rare cases, infections or tumors affecting the lower back region can lead to sacralization.
  6. Inflammatory conditions: Conditions that cause 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:

  1. Low back pain: Sacralization can cause chronic or occasional pain in the lower back, especially in the area of the affected vertebrae.
  2. Stiffness: The fusion of vertebrae in sacralization can lead to stiffness in the lower back, making it difficult to bend or twist.
  3. Limited range of motion: Due to stiffness and pain, people with sacralization may have a limited range of motion in their lower back.
  4. Numbness or tingling: In some cases, sacralization can cause nerve compression, leading to numbness or tingling in the legs or feet.
  5. Weakness: Nerve compression from sacralization can also cause muscle weakness in the legs or feet.
  6. Sciatica: Compression of the sciatic nerve can cause sciatica, a condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower back and legs.


Sacralization can be classified into complete and incomplete. In complete sacralization, the L5 vertebra is completely fused with the sacrum, while in incomplete sacralization, there is a 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.


There are several techniques that can be used to diagnose sacralization, including:

Physical examination:
A physical examination by a healthcare professional may include a thorough evaluation of the lower back, looking for signs of stiffness, limited range of motion, or nerve compression.

X-rays of the lower back can show the presence of sacralization, as well as the degree of fusion between the vertebrae.

CT scan:
CT scans provide a more detailed image of the bones and can show the degree of fusion between the vertebrae in sacralization.

MRI scans can show the degree of nerve compression or damage that may be caused by sacralization.

Bone scan:
A bone scan can detect increased activity in the fused vertebrae, which may be indicative of sacralization.

Electromyography (EMG):
EMG is a test that measures the electrical activity of muscles and nerves. It can be used to detect nerve damage or compression caused by sacralization.


Medication: Anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, steroid injections, etc.

Note: Medication should not be taken without the doctor’s prescription.


Ice therapy or cryotherapy can be used in case of inflammation or swelling.

Heat therapy can be used to increase circulation to the affected area.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS):
TENS uses low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate the nerves in the affected area. This can help to reduce pain and muscle tension associated with sacralization.

Ultrasound therapy:
Ultrasound therapy uses high-frequency sound waves to penetrate the skin and stimulate blood flow to the affected area. This can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Interferential current therapy (IFC):
IFC uses two high-frequency electrical currents to produce a low-frequency current that can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS):
EMS uses electrical currents to stimulate the muscles in the affected area. This can help to strengthen weak muscles and improve the range of motion in the lower back.

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS):
SCS uses a small electrical device implanted under the skin to send electrical signals to the spinal cord. This can help to block pain signals from the affected area and reduce pain associated with sacralization.

Manual therapy:
Manual therapy techniques, such as joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, and myofascial release, can help to reduce pain and improve mobility in the lower back.

Therapeutic exercises:
Specific exercises can help to strengthen the muscles of the lower back, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. A physiotherapist can develop a customized exercise plan based on the individual needs of the patient.

Lifestyle Modification:
A physiotherapist can provide advice on lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding activities that aggravate symptoms and managing pain, and preventing further injury.


Learning proper posture can help to reduce strain on the lower back and prevent further injury. A physiotherapist can provide education on proper posture during various activities, such as sitting, standing, and lifting.

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