Lumbar vertebrae are characterized by massive, medial-laterally elongate oval-shaped bodies and relatively narrow vertebral canals. The bodies lack costal facets or demifacets. No transverse foramina are present. The transverse processes are much more slender than those of thoracic vertebrae, and lack costal articulations. The spinous processes resemble medially-laterally compressed rectangles in lateral view. The spinous processes project more directly dorsally (as opposed to the obvious inferior-dorsal course of the thoracic spinous processes). The superior articular facets are concave and oriented dorsally and medially to receive the ventral and laterally oriented convex superior articular facets of the adjacent vertebra. This articular orientation reduces the mobility of the lumbar spine.