How Back Pain affects your Body
Just about everyone has experienced some level of back pain. It is one of the most common ailments brought on by disease, injury, or misalignment of the spine.
Back pain can show up as a dull muscle ache in the lower back or a severe, sharp pain that affects your ability to bend over or stand up straight. Most often back pain results from strained muscles and ligaments that surround the spine, but it can also be caused by structural problems with the bones of the spine. There are treatment options for back pain, and understanding the causes and symptoms is key to preventing it in the first place.
Your back, like the rest of your body is filled with nerve receptors, some of which are geared specifically to transmit sensations of pain. These are called nociceptors. These receptors are the primary sources of back pain, although nerve damage can sometimes also play a role. The nociceptors transmit the 'pain' message through the spinal cord to the brain, where they arrive first in the thalamus. The thalamus relays the fact of pain to several other parts of the brain: the somatosensory cortex, which governs movement and feeling; the limbic system, which produces emotional responses; and the frontal cortex, which is associated with conscious thinking.
A common reason for lower back pain, is the lack of attention we give to our spine by overloading our back with too much pressure reducing the flexibility and movement of our spine, which in turn can cause injury and pain.
There are exercises for lower back pain that are safe and easy for most people, and focus on activating, or “waking up” muscles that are often overlooked while increasing the mobility of our joints and strengthening key muscles.
If you have severe pain and/or a diagnosed back injury, please consult your doctor or injury specialist for clearance and supervision to perform these exercises.
Most back pain, especially pain that is related to strained muscles, clears up by itself after a short time. However, back pain can be a symptom for several health conditions, including disk problems, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, hernias and even cancer.