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What is back pain?

What is back pain?

Back pain can occur for a range of reasons that are either structural, musculoskeletal, nervebased, or a sign of an underlying disorder. Most back pain is structural or musculoskeletal and the nerves can be affected by changes in the structure of the spine. The spine is a complex system of interlocking bones and joints called vertebrae. The spinal column extends from the base of our skull all the way down to the tailbone at our pelvis, the coccyx. The many vertebrae that make up the spine are labeled in terms of area, and each is given a number so that all doctors know which they are referring to if there are any issues with the back that need to be dealt with. Starting from the neck, the 4 areas are the: * Cervical * Thoracic * Lumbar and * Sacral regions. The cervical region has 7 vertebrae, the thoracic 12, the lumbar 5 and the sacrum 5 bones, all fused together. The coccyx is actually made up of 4 small fused bones. Most people experience lower back pain. Up to 80% of the population will have it at least once in their lives. It tends to occur in older people and can increase with age, but of course anyone can get back pain due to injury. The prevalence varies with gender. Women are more likely to have lower back pain, a prolapsed or slipped disc, and sciatica, that is, pain in the sciatic nerves that run from the back down to the lower leg. The prevalence also varies with race. Black women are two to three times more likely than white women to have part of the lower spine slip out of place.