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Back Conditions

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According to the National Institute of Health, eight out of ten adults will have a low back problem at some time in their lives. The human spine consists of several vertebra, small bones that are stacked on top of each other to form the spinal column. Between each vertebra is a cushion known as a disc. The vertebrae are joined by ligaments, and muscles are attached to the vertebrae by bands of tissue called tendons. Openings in each vertebra line up to form a long hollow canal. The spinal cord runs through this canal from the base of the brain. Nerves from the spinal cord branch outward and leave the spine through the spaces between the vertebrae. Any problem with the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, or bones in the back causes pain that is easily aggravated. Moving may cause just as much pain as remaining in a static position. A low back problem may come on suddenly or gradually. It is acute if it lasts a short time, usually a few days to several weeks. An episode that lasts longer than three months is often considered chronic. Many symptoms are from muscle tension or spasm, back sprains, ligament or muscle tears, and joint problems. Other impairments, such as arthritis and obesity, may also lead to back impairments or limitations typically associated with back impairments, e.g., lifting.

In addition, you can find more information at JAN's A to Z Web page at: http://askjan.org/media/atoz.htm.

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