This page gives a description of the back and its components and gives a list a list of possible conditions that may cause back pain
Lower Back Pain affects 80% of all Americans at some time in their lives. The pain is not a diagnosis but a symptom. Mattress Answer Man is not a medical professional. Back pain is one of the major reasons people look for a new bed, thinking this will cure the problem. Mattress salespeople often exploit this to sell their product. Many times the pain is coming from a poor supporting mattress and a new one will solve the problem. In other cases there are other steps that need to be taken. If you have back pain I would suggest you consult a physician. The new mattress can not cure the problem but it can reduce continued aggravation of the problem.
Back pain is the most prevalent cause of disability in people under the age of 45. Exercise is one way of strengthening the back. Many have turned to yoga for this purpose Others have used acupuncture to relieve the pain. An explanation of the back and then some possible forms of relief or therapy will be discussed in this section.A human back is made up of bones,muscles,and other tissues that form the poster or part of the body's trunk,ranging from the pelvis to the neck. A spinal column supports the body's weight and contains and protects the spinal cord which carries signals that control the bodies movements and convey its sensations. There are more than 30 bones (vertebrae) stacked on top of each other form the spine.Each of these bones contains a hole and are lined up to form a channel to surround the spinal cord that extends from the base of the brain to just below the rib cage(in an adult).Small nerves enter and emerge the cord through spaces between the vertebrae. Because the bones keep growing long after the spinal cord reaches full length in early childhood these small nerves(roots) can extend many inches down the spinal column before exiting(these bundles are known as the horses tail).The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by round spongy pads of cartilage (discs) that allow flexibility and act as shock absorbers throughout the spine to cushion the bones as they move. Ligaments and tendons hold the vertebrae in place and attach the muscles to the spine.
7 cervical(neck) vertebrae                                  C1-C7
12 thoracic(upper back) vertebrae                    T1-T12
5 lumbar(lower back) vertebrae                         L1-L5
sacrum and coccyx                                     fused together at the base of the spine
As people age, bone strength and muscle elasticity and tone tend to decrease. The discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. Low back pain may reflect nerve or muscle irritation or bone lesions. Most low back pain follows injury or trauma to the back, but pain may also be caused by degenerative conditions such as arthritis or disc disease, osteoporosis or other bone diseases, viral infections, irritation to joints and discs, or congenital abnormalities in the spine. Low back pain may indicate a more serious medical problem. Pain accompanied by fever or loss of bowel or bladder control, pain when coughing, and progressive weakness in the legs may indicate a pinched nerve or other serious condition. People with diabetes may have severe back pain or pain radiating down the leg related to neuropathy. People with these symptoms should contact a doctor immediately to help prevent permanent damage
Acute or short-term low back pain generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks Exercises are not usually advisable for acute back pain, nor is surgery
Chronic back pain is pain that persists for more than 3 months
Conditions that may cause low back pain and require treatment by a physician or other health specialist include
Bulging disc (also called protruding, herniated, or ruptured disc).
Spinal degeneration
Spinal stenosis
Skeletal irregularities
If you have any of the following back pain symptoms, contact a doctor immediately
Pain is worse when you cough or sneeze
Pain or numbness travels down one or both legs
Pain awakens you from sleep
You are finding it difficult to pass urine or have a bowel movement
Pain is accompanied by loss of control of urination or bowel movements
Note Internal organs could be sending a problem message thru the back.
Back Pain Conditions and Descriptions
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