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Backache

Anatomy Preventing Backache
Causes Do's & Don'ts
Treating Back Pain Home Exercises for your Back

Backache is one of the commonest complaints a woman will present with. Almost 90% - 95% women will get backache, of whatever cause, at least once in their lifetime. Other than injury, infections and degenerative changes, backache most commonly results from bad posture i.e. placing too much stress on the back - as in lifting a heavy object, bending wrongly and sitting, standing, sleeping for many hours continuously or in incorrect positions.

The busy and stressful life we lead is possible only due to spine that acts as scaffolding for the human frame, keeping it upright for long hours at a stretch.

The human spine is made of 33 bones called vertebrae. The spine features three natural curves:

  • The cervical curve, with 7 vertebrae in the neck area which allow you to turn your head freely.
  • The thoracic curve, with 12 vertebrae in the upper-back, each of them attached to a rib, to provide stability.
  • The Lumbar curve, with 5 vertebrae in the lower back, which receives the most stress and strain.
  • Below the lumbar region are 5 fused vertebrae of the sacrum and 4 fused vertebrae of the coccyx.

Between each pair of vertebrae lies a flat, circular intervertebral disc. The outer portion of the disc is hard and center is soft. This cushions the vertebrae and absorbs shocks to the spine during any movements. Joining each pair of vertebrae is a facet joint that functions like a hinge.

The vertebrae surround and protect the spinal cord, which is basically a column of nerves starting from the brain. This means that pain from a back problem, which is mostly caused by the pinching of a nerve, can travel to other parts of the body.

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