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What Is the Loin?

"Loin" is sometimes a euphemism for the male reproductive organs.
Doing a lunge can help stretch the psoas muscle, which is related to the loin.
Pain in the loins is commonly caused by problems related to the kidneys, such as kidney stones.
Blood in the urine is one sign of loin pain hematuria syndrome.
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  • Written By: M. Haskins
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2014
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In human anatomy, the loin refers to an area extending vertically from just below the waist, or more specifically from the bottom of the ribcage, to just below the pelvis. The term is somewhat inexact, and is most often used to describe the sides of the body in the area below the ribs, sometimes also called the flanks, and the parts of the lower back on either side of the spine. Sometimes the term also includes the genitals, the groin, the hips, and the lower abdomen. Loin is used to describe this part of the anatomy in humans, primates, and many species of four-legged mammals, including cattle and horses. The word loins is sometimes used as a euphemism for both the male and female reproductive organs, and the original Latin word lumbus, from which loin originated, referred both to the general loin area and the genitals.

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Loin is not a term commonly used by doctors or in medical science. In the field of medicine, the term lumbar region is more commonly used to describe a similar, though not identical, area of the body. This part of the body includes the major psoas muscle, a large muscle that is used for example when one is sitting up or bending down and is also involved in hip movement. The lumbar vertebrae, numbered as L1-L5, are also located in the loin area. Back pain is often located in this part of the spine because it carries most of the body's weight.

Even though the word loin is not commonly used as an anatomical term in medicine, the word is included in the names of some disorders, for example loin pain hematuria syndrome. The two main symptoms of this syndrome are pain in the loins and blood in the urine. It is not fully understood what causes the pain associated with this syndrome, but it is thought to be related to the kidneys.

Pain in the loins is commonly caused by problems related to the kidneys, such as kidney stones and renal colic, or by problems related to the ureter, meaning the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The reason for this is that the nerves from the ureter enter the spinal cord in the lumbar region. Other causes of pain in the loins are injuries to the muscles or vertebrae in the lumbar region, herpes zoster, and radiculitis, a type of nerve pain that often affects the sciatic nerve.

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umbra21
Post 3

@pleonasm - That's a good suggestion for a pork loin roast. Personally, I love cooking pork loin chops with apples.

It's kind of fatty though, so I only do it once in a while.

You buy some pork chops, fry them up in a pan, then take them out and throw in some peeled and chopped apples and cook them, then remove them as well.

I like to return the chops to the pan for a little while, so they get a kind of glaze, then you can cook the drippings into sauce if you like.

Then I either serve just as it is, or sometimes chop up the apples and add some herbs or spices to them.

pleonasm
Post 2

All I know about the loin is that it's the area in the cow that's called the "rump" in countries that use the British style of butchery.

But it's a pretty large area, actually. It includes most of the really good cuts of meat too, like the filet and the tenderloin.

Of course, if you are talking about pork loin, that's a really nice cut of meat for roasting.

If you get a boneless pork loin and rub it with oil and maybe some herbs and garlic, then put it in a roasting bag and stick it in the oven for a couple of hours it comes out beautiful. You can roast some potatoes with it for the last hour or so too.

We generally have this as our Sunday roast. It always comes out very tender and tasty.

browncoat
Post 1

My mother was complaining about pain in this region for a couple of weeks, thinking she had somehow hurt her back. I didn't realize it was known as the loin (which I always associated with the genitals, just because of the way most people use the word).

It turned out she had actually developed a kidney infection and that's where the pain was coming from. It seems odd that you can so easily mistake pain from the kidneys as being back pain, but apparently a lot of people do that.

So, if you are having lower back pain and don't know why, and resting your back doesn't seem to help, you should consider investigating to see if you have a kidney infection.

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