Lower Back Pain
More than 30 million visits were made to physician offices in 2002 because of back problems. Eight out of 10 people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Low back pain is one of the most frequent problems treated by orthopaedic surgeons.
What is the lower back?
Your lower back is a complex structure of vertebrae, disks, spinal cord, and nerves, including:
- five bones called lumbar vertebrae – stacked one upon the other, connecting the upper spine to the pelvis
- six shock absorbers called disks – acting both as cushion and stabilizer to protect the lumbar vertebrae
- spinal cord and nerves – the “electric cables” which travel through a central canal in the lumbar vertebrae, connecting your brain to the muscles of your legs
- small joints – allowing functional movement and providing stability
- muscles and ligaments – providing strength and power and at the same time support and stability