Back Pain: What Do You Know About Your Spine

Although people suffering back pain know the spine is most important in maintaining and managing their pain, they are unclear about how important it is. A strong spine and back muscles that contribute to good posture can make go a long way towards avoiding back pain. If you are suffering from back pain you will want to learn about the spine, what it does and how it works.

The spinal column is a major part of the core strength needed to help avoid back pain. It serves to support the trunk of the body. It allows us to bend over, turn from side to side and sit and lie down. The several small bones in the spine are called vertebrae and they are stacked on top of each other in the spinal column.

How many times have you heard others talk about the disc problems in their back? The gel-like substance that is found between the vertebra is called a disc. What is the main function of the disc? To absorb shock from movement of the body and to keep the vertebra separated and not touching one another. Ligaments hold each of the vertebra together.

Each vertebra has a hole on the top and when stacked on top of each other, they form a tube for the spinal cord. These vertebrae protect the spinal cord which is made up of nerve tissue. What does the spinal cord do? It carries the messages sent by your brain to your various body parts telling them to perform certain functions thus performing a vital function for mobility and bodily sensation.

There are three main areas of the spine. Starting at the top, we find the cervical spine which is located in the upper part of the back. The thoracic spine is located in the middle part of the back and the lumbar spine in the lower back. The lumbar spine carries most of the body’s weight and can help explain why we often experience pain in our lumbar region first. Some estimates say that nearly 80% of American men and women will experience lower back pain sometime in their lives.

Spinal disorders can be degenerative, often the result of injury. As we all aware, damage to the spinal cord can create many serious problems, including paralysis. Most back pain is acute, meaning it will resolve within one to six weeks. If, however, it lasts longer than three months, it can be considered chronic and will require some treatment intervention.

Researching and learning about how your back and spine work will help you to better understand your back pain and lead you to proper treatment.