Back pain can occur in two separate areas including, upper back, or thoracic spine, and the lower back, or lumbar vertebra. Lower back pain is one of the most common conditions in the United States; one in five adults will experience it at least once during their lives. Back pain is usually caused by stresses on the ligaments and or muscles that are responsible for supporting the spine. Many people that sit for long periods of time at work can be affected. Obesity is also a contributing factor due to the increase on the weight on the spine and the pressure on the discs. In addition to inactivity, extreme activity can also cause back pain, this often occurs in sports such as football and gymnastics. However, the most common cause of chronic back pain and disability is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis.
Symptoms of Back Pain
Common symptoms differ by age; people under the age of 60 can suffer from leg pain and numbness, lower back pain caused by movement, and low back pain. Individuals with minor back pain may be experiencing symptoms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis can begin in those as young as 30 years of age, and may progress for many years before symptoms appear. The types of pain experienced by older adults may include increased low back pain and stiffness after immobility.
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