ANATOMY - The Back (Continued)

Low Back Anatomy: Muscles and Ligaments

Ligaments, tendons and muscles stabilize the spinal column. In addition, specialized joints called facets stabilize the column. These facets hold the vertebrae together, but also allow controlled motion of the spinal column. Even small strains to these stabilizing structures can cause pain and stiffness.

A majority of low back pain is due to some sort of inflammation, strain, or sprain to these structures.

Sometimes a back strain can cause an irritation to the large nerve around your buttocks called the sciatic nerve. This is sometimes called sciatica.

Occasionally, the disks in your vertebral column can become injured or damaged causing pressure onto your nerve root or even your spinal cord. This may cause most of your pain to be located in your leg rather than your back. This is sometimes referred to as a herniated disk or slipped disk. If you notice that you have more pain in your leg than your back, you should report this immediately to your doctor.

To learn more about the various symptoms of low back problems, click Next below.

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