Thursday, March 13, 2008

Back Pain

Back Pain

Author: Dr. Savitha Suri


Back pain is the most common complaint among adults under 45. Back pain brings their activities to a complete halt and intervenes in the progress of their career. Researchers say that it is really a challenge to a physician to find out the true cause of back pain.

Here is a quick take on the anatomy of the human back. Our body depends on the spinal column for structural stability and mobility. We twist, bend and flex with the help of spinal column. The spinal column is made up of 24 vertebrae, 7 in the neck (the cervical vertebrae), 12 in the thorax (the thoracic vertebrae), and 5 in the lower back (the lumbar vertebrae). The sacrum, located just below the lumbar vertebrae, consists of 5 fused vertebrae. The tailbone, or coccyx, with its 3 to 5 fused vertebrae, lies just beneath the sacrum. These vertebrae are placed one on another from skull to pelvis. Spongy discs are present in between vertebrae .The spinal column is tightly wrapped by muscles and ligaments.

The spinal cord is enclosed within vertebral canal which is formed by alignment of vertebrae.

Acharya sushruta describes anatomy of spinal column as follows.

Prushte trimshat -

The number of back bones are 30 (Cervical-7 , Thoracic – 12, Lumbar- 5, vertebrae fused in sacrum -5 , coccyx -1 ). While describing the joints in spinal column it has been said as “Chaturvimshatihi prishta vamshe“. This means there are 24 joints in spinal column.

The ligaments and tendons hold the bones and muscles together.

Causes for back ache

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