The majority of people will have some sort of back pain at some point in their life.  There are many different levels of pain and many different causes for low back pain.

Anatomy

The spine is made up of several vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other with muscles, nerves and ligaments.

The spine is made up of 3 sections:  Cervical or the neck, Thoracic or middle of the back, Lumbar or the lower back.

Causes

You can injury your back doing a multitude of things, including lifting, reaching or bending over. 

Many people also develop degenerative changes in their back that happens as we age.

Symptoms

  • Muscle ache
  • Stabbing pain
  • Inability to stand up for long periods
  • Limited range of motion
  • Pain down the legs
  • Recent injury

Structural problems –

  • Ruptured disks – each vertebra in our spine is cushioned by disks.  If the disk ruptures there will be more pressure on a nerve, resulting in back pain.
  • Bulging disks – in much the same way as ruptured disks, a bulging disk can result in more pressure on a nerve.
  • Sciatica – a sharp and shooting pain that travels through the buttock and down the back of the leg, caused by a bulging or herniated disk pressing on a nerve.
  • Arthritis – patients with osteoarthritis commonly experience problems with the joings in the hips, lower back, knees and hands. 
  • Osteoporosis – bones, including the vertebrae of the spine, become brittle and porous, making compression fractures more likely.