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Back pain in the lower back or low back pain is a common concern, affecting up to 90% of Americans at some point in the their lifetime. Up to 50% will have more than one episode. Low back pain is not a specific disease. Rather, it is a symptom that may occur from a variety of different processes. In up to 85% of people with low back pain, despite a thorough medical examination, no specific cause of the pain can be identified.

Common Symptoms of Back Pain

\"back Most of us have experienced back pain some time. But, not all of us suffer the same causes of back pain. Some people inflict damages to themselves due to a lifetime of bad habits. Others suffer accidents, muscle strains and sports injuries. Even though there are several causes of back pain, the most common symptoms of this problem are the following:

- Persistent aching or stiffness anywhere along your spine, from the base of the neck to the hips.
- The pain may radiate down the front, side, or back of your leg, or it may be confined to the low back.
- Sharp, localized pain in the neck, upper back, or lower back -- especially after lifting heavy objects or engaging in other strenuous activity.
- Chronic ache in the middle or lower back, especially afetr sitting or standing for extended periods. The pain may become worse with activity.
- Occasionally, the pain may be worse at night or with prolonged sitting such as on a long car trip.
- You may have numbness or weakness in the part of the leg that receives its nerve supply from a compressed nerve.
- An example of this would be an inability to plantar flex the foot. This means your would be unable to stand on your toes or bring your foot downward. This occurs when the first sacral nerve is compressed or injured.
- Another example would be the inability to raise your big toe upward. This results when the fifth lumbar nerve is compromised.

Causes of Neck & Back Pain

The exact cause of back and neck pain can be a symptom of many different causes, including any of the following:

- Overuse, strenuous activity, or improper use such as repetitive or heavy lifting
- Trauma, injury or fractures
- Degeneration of vertebrae, often caused by stresses on the muscles and ligaments that support the spine, or the effects of aging
- Obesity due to increased weight on the spine and pressure on the discs
- Poor muscle tone
- Muscle tension or spasm
- Sprain or strain
- Ligament or muscle tears
- Joint problems such as arthritis

\"backAlthough there may be several causes for neck & back pain, the most common cause is maintaining an incorrect position. Everyday, you put stress on your spine, which directly impacts the tension in your neck and back. The posture you take when performing simple tasks like sitting at a desk, driving, and bending over can contribute to wear on these sensitive parts of your body.

Effective Exercises to reduce back pain

Active exercise - not rest - is usually basic to reduce back pain and encourage healing. In fact, exercises reduce back pain because working out makes your muscles in your back, stomach, hips and thighs flexible and strong.

First of all, you should try to maintain a healthy physical condition. Most people achieve this be leading active lives: they run, walk, ride a bike, swim, etc. Besides these physical activities, there are some exercises that you can use to help to specific muscles affected by back pain.

Treatments for back pain

There are several treatments for back pain, but choosing the one that works best for you depends on your specific case. However, you should always start with the less risky alternatives, and use the riskier treatments only if necessary.
To know more about how you can relieve back pain, click on treatments for back pain.

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