Low back pain is pain and stiffness in the small of the back. With low back pain, pain may also occur in the buttocks or legs.
Simple exercises and good posture can help most cases of low back pain. In a few cases, medications, physical therapy or surgery may be needed.
The spine is made up of ring-like bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are stacked on top of each other and form a strong column that keeps the head and body standing up. Between each vertebra is a jelly-like disk that has a tough outside edge. These disks are like cushions between the vertebrae. Muscles and tissues hold vertebrae in the right place. The lower back consists of five vertebrae. These vertebrae make up the inward curve of the lower back.
The most common cause of low back pain is overstretched or injured muscles that support the lower back. Muscles and connective tissues can become hurt from lifting or carrying heavy objects incorrectly. Muscles in the back can also become weak from a lack of exercise. Exercises to make the muscles in the back and abdomen strong can lessen pain. Low back pain can also be caused by:
Many times, low back pain can be helped by exercise and keeping good posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping. You can also learn ways to protect your back when bending, lifting, and exercising. People who are overweight might lessen low back pain by losing weight.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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