The Importance of a
The back is a complex, interconnecting structure of bones,
muscles, tendons, tissues, nerves and joints. It is made up of 24 small bones,
or vertebrae, that are stacked on top of each other to form the spinal cord.
This intricate architecture can cause pain and discomfort that ranges in
intensity from mild to severe. In fact, about 80 percent of all Americans have
experienced back problems at some point in their lives.
We use our backs when we stand, sit, bend, twist, lift and
carry, so having a healthy, strong back is essential for a positive quality of
life and our everyday comfort. Through regular exercise, proper body posture
and toned muscle strength, you can
help reduce and prevent unnecessary spinal strain and back problems.
Major Regions of the
The major parts of the back include the:
- Cervical spine (neck): The cervical spine begins
at the base of the skull and extends to the thoracic spine. These seven
vertebrae provide head and neck mobility and support.
- Thoracic spine (abdomen): The thoracic spine is
the middle part of the back and includes 12 vertebrae.
- Lumbar spine (lower back): The lumbar spine is the
lower back and includes five large vertebrae that support the torso. A disk
with a jelly-like center between each vertebrae acts as a cushion and protects
against shock and pressure.
Common Back Pain Causes
Back pain is a prevalent condition that can occur easily.
Common causes include:
- Sports-related injury
- Being overweight
- Poor posture and body mechanics
- Heavy lifting
- Inactive, sedentary lifestyle
- Older age
- Diseases like osteoporosis, arthritis, scoliosis
or spine disorders
Learn more about the many back pain and neck pain conditions we treat.
Request a back pain appointment online with a Wake Forest Baptist spine specialist.