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The spine is a complex network of bones, joints, muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons, its central feature being the vertebral column. The vertebral column is made up of 24 articulated bones called the vertebrae and nine fused vertebrae in the sacrum and coccyx at the bottom of your spine.
Back pain can take a number of forms and is a complaint that can affect anyone at any age. With so many causes of back pain it can be difficult to establish the root of the problem, but it most frequently relates to a strain or tear in a muscle, tendon or ligament. In most cases, the condition will improve when treated with painkillers and by keeping mobile, unless there has been a more significant damage to the structure of your spine.
This page is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.
Following these sensible daily guidelines and routines can help reduce the risks of developing pains in your back:
Tension, stiffness or soreness in your lower back area is a common complaint, often referred to as ‘non-specific’ back pain. This sort of pain can result from twisting awkwardly, lifting something heavy or through poor posture.
This area is known as the thoracic spine and pain in this area can occur anywhere between the base of your neck and bottom of your ribcage. Symptoms can include dull, burning or sharp pain. You may also experience pains in your arms, legs or chest. If you have weakness in your arms or legs, a numb or tingling feeling in your arms, legs, chest or stomach area, or are suffering from a loss of bladder or bowel control you should seek immediate medical attention.
For most incidents of non-specific back pain, it can be difficult to identify the exact cause. However, there are a number of factors that can increase the chances of developing or aggravating back pain:
Sometimes the cause of the pain is because of more serious damage to parts of your spine, such as: