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Back Pain Help in Fort Jupiter, FL

    Back Pain At A Glance

    • About eight in 10 people will suffer back pain at least once in their lives.
    • Back pain is the second most common neurological problem, after headaches, and is the fifth most common reason people see doctors.
    • There are many factors that can cause back pain including age, lifestyle and health habits, diet and lack of exercise, smoking, and family history.
    • Back pain can range from sharp and intense to dull and aching. In some cases, a spine condition causes pain in areas of the body other than in the back.
    • Many cases of back problems cannot be cured but must be managed over time. New technology and medical advancements continue giving new hope to sufferers.

     

    Who Gets Back Pain?

    Almost everyone – about 80 percent of the population – experiences some form of back pain at least once in his or her life that they will see a doctor for. Back pain is the fifth most common reason people see a doctor, according to the National Institutes of Health.. It is the number one cause of disability and worker’s compensation claims.

    Back problems begin to occur most often between the ages 30 and 60 Yet back problems can happen to almost anyone at any time in life. In one study, about one-fourth of U.S. adults said they’d experienced back pain within the prior three months3.

    Back pain is the most common neurological (nerve related) ailment in the United States.

    More often than not, people who suffer back pain have a recurrence. That is, they have a second episode of pain.

    About four in five back pain sufferers recover within six weeks, and most resume work and a normal daily routine in no more than a week1.

    What Causes Back Pain?

    There are multiple causes of back pain including arthritis, injury, degenerative disc disease and nerve and muscular problems.

    Risk factors for back pain:

    Age – With time, the discs that cushion the vertebrae in the back break down and become dry and less flexible. This in turn often leads to a bulging or herniated disc. The herniated portion can then protrude into the space surrounding a nerve root, causing weakness, numbness and/or pain in the leg or arm.

    Health habits & history – Smoking, inadequate exercise and being overweight all increase the chances of back problems. In addition, long periods of sitting, lifting heavy weights, certain repetitive motions and frequent bending or twisting the back can be contributors. And having had back surgery or a prior back injury or spine problems since childhood increases the odds.

    Lifestyle – Stress and poor posture appears to be a factor in back pain, and certain jobs or occupations such as construction labor and long-distance driving are associated with the condition.

    Another common cause is over-activity in which muscles and ligaments get injured or stretched too far. Vigorous sports or yard work or snow shoveling are just some of the some of the activities that can result in stiffness and soreness the next few days. However, this is usually acute pain, or short-term. Back pain lasting more than three months is considered chronic back pain, as opposed to acute.

    You can learn more about common causes of back pain by clicking on any of the links below:

    Degenerative disc disease

    Herniated disc

    Spinal stenosis

    Spondylolisthesis

    Scolosis

    Learn about Spine Anatomy.

    Spine Anatomy & How The Back Works

    The vertebrae

    The spine is a series of bones called vertebrae stacked on top of one another. There are three sections of vertebrae:

    Cervical vertebrae – Seven vertebrae make the cervical spine, abbreviated as C1 through C7. These are smaller than other vertebrae.

    Thoracic vertebrae – There are 12 vertebrae in the thoracic or chest area of the spine, labeled T-1 through T-12. The ribs connect to these vertebrae, forming a protective cage around vital organs.

    Lumbar vertebrae – Most people have five lumbar vertebrae, although a few people have six. These are marked as L-1 through L-5 or L-6, and this area of the back is the more common sources of back pain because it supports more of the body’s weight than any other part of the spine. The lumbar connects to the last two portions of the spine, the sacrum (known simply as S-1) and the coccyx, or the tailbone.

    Viewed from the side, the spine has four natural curves, which help to distribute the body’s weight during movement.

    Two of these curves, in the cervical and lumbar areas, are called lordotic (pronounced “lor-dot-ick”), curving rearward from the body. The thoracic (“thore-as-ik”) and sacral (“say-cral”) curves are kyphotic (“kie-fah-tik”), curving inward to the body.

    Intervertebral discs & facet joints

    Between any two adjoining vertebrae sits a spongy disc that acts as a shock absorber. About the size and sponginess of a cooked shrimp, each disc prevents surrounding vertebrae from colliding during physical movement such as walking, running and twisting. There are two parts to a disc:

    The annulus fibrosus is the flexible but resilient outer ring that helps connect to the vertebrae. It functions as a ligament providing stability between each vertebrae.

    The nucleus pulposus is the softer, jelly-like center, which adds extra cushioning abilities.

    Also between each adjoining vertebrae are a pair of facet joints, named for the vertebrae that they connect. For example, the facet joints between the L-4 and L-5 vertebrae are the L4-5 facets.

    Facet joints are on the back of the spinal column and are made of small, bony knobs lining up along the spine on each side. Where one facet joint meets another, these knobs connect the adjoining vertebrae. A spinal motion segment are two adjacent vertebrae, the disc between them, and the two facet joints in the back side.

    The Vertebral and Spinal Canal

    The front of the vertebrae is called the vertebral body. It is the larger cylinder looking part of the vertebrae that supports the weight of the upper body. All of the vertebrae lined up together is call the spinal column.

    The back side of the vertebrae has a collection of smaller bones called the spinous process and lamina. This is where many of the muscles in the back attach.

    The back part of the vertebrae is connected to the vertebral body by two tubular bones called the pedicles. When performing a spinal fusion operation, this is where special screws are inserted; called pedicle screws. With all of these bone connected, they form a boney ring called the vertebral canal. When all 24 vertebrae stack up together from our neck to the low back, the rings form a tunnel called the spinal canal.

    The spinal canal is where our spinal cord and spinal nerves are located. There are also small blood vessels in the spinal canal that supplies vital oxygen, nutrition, and eliminates waste product of metabolisms.

    Spinal cord & nerves

    The spine houses and protects the spinal cord and the spinal nerves extending down from the base of the brain all the way into toes and fingers. These nerve structures carry electrical signals to muscles throughout the body and branch out from the spine through openings in the vertebrae called the neuro-foramin.

    When a disc herniates or another event causes a narrowing of an opening through which one of these nerve branches travels, the nerve can be pinched. If the pinching or compression is severe enough, it creates a stenosis interfering with the blood supply to the spinal cord or spinal nerve. This in turn typically creates pain, numbness, weakness or muscle spasms in body extremities such as legs, arms, toes and fingers.