Back pain is an acute or chronic pain caused by nerve and muscular problems, degenerative disc disease, or arthritis. The term back pain includes lower back pain, middle back pain, upper back pain or low back pain with sciatica.
The spine consists of three major components: bones, joints, and discs. The back is made up of 24 bones called vertebrae, which lay upon each other like a stack of coins. The body of the vertebrae is the front, main weight-bearing structure. In between each bone is a rubbery cushion known as a disc, which allows movement and rotation of your back. Each vertebra incorporates two sets of facet joints, one facing upward to connect with the vertebra above and the other pair connecting to the vertebra below. The facet joints provide stability and flexibility, allowing the bones to move against each other without getting damaged. In the center of each vertebra is the spinal canal, the opening through which nerves and the spinal cord travel.
The spinal cord can be thought of as a major highway for signals that go between your brain and the rest of your body. These signals are responsible for controlling your entire body, such as moving your arms and legs, and for sensing things around you, such as touch and temperature. All of this is held together by what is known as “soft tissue”.
There are two types of soft tissues. The first are the muscles and tendons which help in movement and lifting. The second are the ligaments which help the vertebrae stay in perfect alignment so that you can move your back pain-free and protect your spine.
Types of Back Pain
Causes of Back Pain
Sitting and Standing for prolonged periods of time
Driving long distances
Lifting (heavy, too frequently, improperly)
Obesity, lack of exercise
Injury (car accident, sudden jolts, falls, etc)
Back Pain Treatments