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Back Pain

The Importance of a Healthy Back 

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 Back 

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 
  • Trauma 
  • Being overweight 
  • Stress 
  • Poor posture and body mechanics 
  • Heavy lifting 
  • Inactive, sedentary lifestyle 
  • Smoking 
  • 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


Quick Reference

The Spine Center

New Patients 888-716-WAKE
Returning Patients

The Spine Center is located at Medical Plaza - Clemmons: 

2341 Lewisville-Clemmons Rd.
Clemmons, NC 27012

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Last Updated: 09-30-2016
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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