Back pain – one of the most

widespread of all diseases

Causes of back pain

Pain in the back and lower back is one of the most common health complaints. Around
70 per cent of all adults experience the "battle of the lower back" at least once
during their life.

There are many causes. Wear of the spine, inflamed muscles and joints, pinched nerves (sciatica) or displaced intervertebral discs can cause severe back pain. Injuries, overstraining and improper stressing of the back muscles, lack of exercise, and psychological strain are other possible causes.

Long-term back pain can also be an indication of diseases in other organs, for example the kidneys or serious diseases such as tumours in the back region or metastases from another form of cancer. Finally, osteoporosis can cause spinal fracturing, which is not only painful but can also lead to postural disorders.

Frequently recurring back complaints are sometimes also the expression of chronic inflammation, such as Morbus Bechterew (ankylosing spondylitis). Pain overnight in the lower back is the most common symptom in the early stage of this disease.

Pain in the lower back can therefore not be treated lightly and must always be clarified!

The cervical spine intervertebral disc

The intervertebral disc provides a buffer function and makes the spine mobile. In the course of time, the disc can develop ruptures due to wear. This causes the neighbouring nerves to be pressed, leading to severe pain either at the location of the damage or radiating to the arms or legs.

The spine

The spine

Sitting, lying, hopping, walking, bending over or turning the head – none of this would be possible without the spine. The central axis of our body permits movements and activities in many different directions (bending forwards, stretching backwards, inclining to the side and turning movements) and also provides stability.

Nature's perfectly designed construction plan of bones, ligaments, tendons, discs, muscles and nerves ensures that the multi-functional talent that is the spine can optimally carry out all these functions.

S-curves for flexibility and stability

Viewed from the side, the spine with its curvature resembles a double-S. These curves –described as lordosis or kyphosis depending on the position – ensure that the spine can absorb impacts and jumps and is optimally supported. From behind, a healthy spine has the appearance of a straight rod.

The spine, with a total of 24 vertebrae, is divided into three regions: the cervical spine (seven cervical vertebrae), the thoracic spine (12 thoracic vertebrae) and the lumbar spine (five lumbar vertebrae). The sacral bone and tail bone, with a total of 10 vertebrae which fuse to a bone block between the ages of 20 and 25, extend from the lumbar spine.

Shock absorber technology in the back

A vertebra is comprised of a massive vertebral body at the front and the narrower vertebral arch, with the vertebral joints and spinous processes, behind it.
The vertebral body functions as a load-bearing device and the spinal cord and intradural nerve fibres run through the shielded canal of vertebral arches (spinal canal and dura mater of the spinal cord). The muscles are attached to the transverse processes and the spinous process.

The intervertebral discs act as buffers to separate the individual vertebrae. With their soft, water-enriched gelatinous nucleus, surrounded by a cartilaginous fibre ring, they dampen impacts and enable better movement of the vertebrae.

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Diseases of the spine

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