My Anatomy students remember when we’re discussing the spinal cord a couple weeks ago that it ends around the L1 vertebra – so below that, we just have horse’s tails (caudae equinae) floating in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF).
So it provides an opportunity to send drugs directly to the verterbral canal or to draw CSF out (as in a spinal tap).
Before childbirth, many women opt to have drugs that numb the area down there, so they don’t feel the pain. The drugs are called “anesthetics.” They’ll put that in a needle and push it through between vertebrae (I think it’s usually between L3-L4 area?) and into the vertebral canal. The drug will then do its thing and numb up the nerves in the area.
Well, if you have pain down there, or in the lower back or in the hamstrings, as Steve Nash has had, these drugs (hopefully) will reduce the pain. As I remember, over the past 2 weeks, Nash has had 2-3 shots for his hamstrings, then a couple more later in the week for his back.