spine back pain orthopedist

What is the cause of back pain?

Back pain effects nearly 1/3 of all adult Americans with varying degrees of pain.  One must first understand the anatomy of the spine to learn about their specific back pain and determine a proper treatment plan.  A healthy spine can prevent back pain through a strong posture, flexibility, and rotation, while protecting the spinal cord from injury.

Elements of the spine:

  • Vertebrae – 33 small bones that extend from the sacrum to the base of the skull
  • Facet joints – cartilage between vertebrae that allows for movement and rotation
  • Discs – gel-like cushions between vertebrae giving protective support
  • Spinal cord – a column of nerves that transmits signal from the body to the brain
  • Ligaments & tendons – connect and hold the bones and muscles for full support during movement

The anatomy of the spine

The spine is made up of five segments: the neck (Vertebrae C1-C7) , the Thoracic (Vertebrae T1-T12), Lower Back (Vertebrae L1-L5) ,the Sacrum, and the Coccyx.   Each segment has a function to provide structure, stability, and movement in the back and the body.

Back pain causes:

  • lifestyle choices such as poor posture from lack of weight bearing exercise and dietary choices leading to being overweight or obese. 
  • Occupational choices such as poor ergonomic workspace setting or repetitive on-the -job movements.   
  • Trauma or accidents
  • Osteoporosis or bone loss
  • Primary or genetic disorders like scoliosis
  • Disease related

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