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Why Does My Back Hurt?

Anatomy of the spine:

The spine is a crucial structure in the body. It has three major functions important for everyday life:

  • Protection: the spinal cord, nerve roots and several organs within the body are protected by the spine.
  • Structure: the spine provides structural support to withstand load and hold you upright.
  • Movement: the spine allows movement in multiple directions.

The spine can be broken down into five sections – cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx. The spine has segments called vertebrae. Each vertebra works with the one above and below in order to allow full movement of the spine. Between each vertebra sit the intervertebral discs which allow for movement at each joint and shock absorption. Attached to the spine are multiple ligaments and tendons (attaching muscle to bone) which provide stability and movement to the spine.

The spinal cord sits within a passageway called the spinal canal. Thirty-one pairs of nerves exit the spinal cord and innervate our body.

Causes of back pain:

The cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine are the most common to sustain injuries. There are multiple reasons why differing levels of the spine may be damaged or problematic, these include but are not limited to:

  • Cervical – general degeneration, poor sleeping position/posture in general, stress or trauma e.g. car crash/fall.
  • Thoracic – poor posture relating to the neck, disc degeneration, osteoarthritis at the joints, osteoporosis or muscle tightness.
  • Lumbar – repeated heavy lifting, sudden awkward movements, trauma or repetitive impact activities such as running.

Common back injuries/conditions:

  • Referred pain down the back of the shoulder and possibly radiating down the arm to the hand.
  • Headache and Migraines.
  • Lower back pain with or without pain radiating down the leg.
  • Pain from the back into the ribs.

If you suffer from any of these injuries call us on 01279 414 959. A therapist will fully assess the injury and be able to carry out hands on treatments, prescribe exercises as well as provide advice on how to mange/prevent this injury from occurring again.

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