Understanding Back Pain-The Anatomy Of The Lower Back
Back pain is one of the most common medical diagnosis known throughout the world. In fact, back pain is so common, 4 out of 5 people will experience back pain at least once in their life. Our goal is to help you understand your back pain. One way to understand back pain is learning the anatomy of the back. Since most back pain occurs in the lower back, we’ll take a look at the anatomy of the lower back.
The lower back is made up of a number of different elements that all play a vital role to the back. Important structures of the low back that can be related to symptoms in this region include the bony lumbar spine, known as vertebrae. Also, the back is made up of discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.
The lower back or lumbar area serves several different important purposes. For one, the lower back supports the upper body. Yes, your entire upper body is supported by the lower back. Secondly, the lower back protects the body, protecting certain body tissues. Also, the lower back allows us to move side to side, twist, up and down. The lower back is mobile, the upper back for the most part is not.
The lumbar spine is designed so that vertebrae “stacked” together can provide a movable support structure while also protecting the spinal cord from injury. The spinal cord is composed of nervous tissue that extends down the spinal column from the brain. Each vertebra has a spinous process, a bony prominence behind the spinal cord, that shields the cord’s nervous tissue from impact trauma. Vertebrae also has a strong bony body in front of the spinal cord to provide a stage suitable for holding the weight of all tissues above the buttocks. The lumbar vertebrae stack immediately atop the sacrum bone that is situated in between the buttocks. On each side, the sacrum meets the iliac bone of the pelvis to form the sacroiliac joints of the buttocks.
Your spinal discs are pads that serve as cushions between the individual vertebral. Your spinal disc are very important as they help to reduce the impact of stress on the spinal column. Each disc is designed like a jelly donut with a central, softer component (nucleus pulposus) and a surrounding, firm outer ring (annulus fibrosus). The central portion of the disc is capable of rupturing, known as a ruptured disc or herniated disc through the outer ring, causing irritation of adjacent nervous tissue and sciatica as described below. Ligaments are strong fibrous soft tissues that firmly attach bones to bones. Ligaments attach each of the vertebrae to each other and surround each of the spinal discs.
There’s a number of different things that relate to the spinal discs and lumbar pain. Degenerative Disc Disease is one common cause of lower back pain. Your spinal disc are mostly made of water. As we naturally age, our disc shrink and evaporate. We lose that cushion and protection. Once our disc wear out, the vertebrae will rub one another, bone against bone. In the end, you’re left with back pain.
Damaged ligaments can also be a cause of your back pain. It doesn’t take much to pull a ligament or muscle. When the muscles or ligaments in the low back are strained or torn, the area around the muscles will usually become inflamed. The inflammation leads to back spasm, and it is the back spasm that can cause both severe lower back pain and difficulty moving. We commonly see this with sports athletes, both men and women. Many muscle groups that are responsible for flexing, extending, and rotating the waist, as well as moving the lower extremities, attach to the lumbar spine through tendon insertions.
The nerves that provide sensation and stimulate the muscles of the low back as well as the lower extremities all exit the lumbar spinal column through bony portals known as foramen. Your nerves are also the reason you feel pain when it is present. Any damage or injury to the nerves can result in pain, minor to extreme. When the nerves are irritated, it can cost you a lot of different problems and pain.
Knowing where your pain is and the cause can help you determine a course of action to end your back pain, even though you may not be a medical professional. Even so, you’ll need to see your doctor. Your doctor will be able to perform a physical exam on your lower back, perhaps ordering X-rays, a MRI or CT scan. The results will help you and your doctor to clarify a treatment course for your back pain. Medications, physical therapy and even surgery may be needed to correct your low back pain.
For those you that suffer from chronic lower back pain and have yet to find a solution to your lower back pain, we do have solutions to help you. Doctor’s Pain Relief Systems provides natural pain relief treatments for lower back pain. Our back pain treatments have helped millions of men and women relieve their lower back pain for good. We provide hundreds of helpful articles and information on back pain, just like this article. You can even sign up for our free pain relief webinar to learn exactly what we can do for you. You can sign up at the top right of the page for free, we do 3 live webinars a day.
We understand that you’re in pain and looking for relief. It’s hard enough just living life, when you include pain, it’s that much harder. Even if you’ve tried back pain treatments before without success, we don’t want you to give up. We can help. Be sure to review our back pain treatments.