Low back pain is extremely common. Almost every person will have at least one episode of low back pain at some time in his or her life. The pain can vary from severe and long term to mild - any of these situations can be made much more bearable and even resolved with a trip to one of our offices.
There are 24 vertebrae in three upper segments of the spinal column. These three segments create three natural curves of the back: the curves of the neck area (cervical), chest area (thoracic), and lower back (lumbar). The lower segments of the spine (sacrum and coccyx) are made up of a series of vertebrae that are fused together.
The lower back is a complex area that connects the upper body (including the chest and arms) to the lower body (including the pelvis and legs). The lower back is composed of several vertebrae, disks of soft cartilage, muscles, joints, ligaments, and nerve tissue.
Lumbar vertebrae - five cylindrical bones stacked one upon the other, connecting the upper spine to the pelvis
- Disks - act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, and allow for spine movement
- Spinal cord and nerves - the "electrical cables," which travel through a central canal in the lumbar vertebrae, connecting the brain to the leg muscles
- Small joints - between vertebrae, they allow movement and provide stability
- Muscles and ligaments - provide strength and power, as well as support and stability
The lower back provides the body with power and mobility, allowing such movements as turning, twisting or bending, as well as the strength to stand, walk, and lift. Proper functioning of the lower back is needed for almost all activities of daily living.