The muscles of the back support our body from the neck and the shoulders to the upper buttocks. Some of its functions involve the spine.

The internal structure made of tissues and the functions of the body are studied by a scientific branch called anatomy.

The lower back consists of multiple linked bony elements or vertebrae of the lumbar spine, vertebral or spinal discs, and ligaments in the spinal area, discs, spinal nerves and chords, lower back muscles, abdominal and pelvis viscera, and skin, protecting the lumbar region.

The spinal cord is made of nerves tissues covering the area from the brain to the end of the spinal column. The vertebrae of the lumbar spine are joined together in a way that they create a support form which is movable and, at the same time they protect the spinal cord from damages. Each vertebra has the function to defend the nervous tissue from the effect of trauma.

The spinal discs are like pads of cotton between each vertebra, so that they decrease the impact of traumatic stress on the vertebral column. They have a form like a doughnut filled with jelly filling, with nucleus as a soft jelly in the middle, and the surrounding outer jelly surface.

The nerves are responsible for having physical feeling or perception in the lower part of our body, i.e. the thighs, toes, feet and legs. They go out of the lumbar spinal column through bony perforated structures, medically named foramen. Tendon inserts help groups of muscles that provide movement, rotation of the waist, stretching and other lower body movements to be closely attached to the lumbar spine.

The lower back is important for many different functions, such as support, protection of tissue, movement, and support the upper part of our body and its weight, when we walk or stand upright.

Some of the causes why many people have pain in the back and the lower back are the following:

– Muscle Strain

Strange or unnatural motion of the body, and picking up and carrying weighty objects are the most common reasons for back pain that stretch the back ligaments and muscles thus causing ache.
If there is frequent back ache under weak health circumstances, then this might lead to muscle twitching or muscle fasciculation.

– Arthritis

Osteoarthritis, the most usual form of arthritis, is known to cause back pain. If the spinal column is affected by arthritis, the area named stenosis of the spine significantly narrows. Different conditions of arthritis, such as psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, spondylitis and the arthritis that appears with inflammatory bowel illness, can also cause back pain and tension or stiffness in the back that hurts the most in the mornings. This condition commonly appears between the ages of 20 to 30.

– Fractured Discs

Occasionally, the soft material which looks like jelly, found in the middle of a disc might swell and push on a nerve. A bulging or bursting disc as seen on radiography does not have to indicate back pain, so it happens that people with bursting discs do not necessarily suffer from back pain.

– Skeletal Distortions

Abnormal curves of the spine can cause back pain. Patients who suffer from scoliosis get curving of the spine sideways. It is painful, and even after medical intervention it still cannot make the pain disappear permanently. However, surgery is necessary because it prevents the risk from other serious conditions like pressure to the heart tissue and the lungs.

– Osteoporosis

When the patient’s bones are affected by bone permeability or osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bones), fractures of the vertebra are likely to happen.

Treating pain of lower back and back muscles in a natural way:

                                                                                 – Stretching in warm conditions

Many people suffer from back pain. Tighten or stiffed muscles and joint pain can be dealt with by using heat. Heating pads, topical lotions, hot baths and showers can help reduce the pain. The heat relaxes the muscles and increases the blood flow. After the warm treatment, stretch to relax and lengthen the sore tissues more. If you suffered an acute injury, heat therapy is not recommended in the first 48 hours.

– Do not involve in harmful actions

As simple as it may seem, some everyday activities can harm your back. While shoveling for example, you have to switch and turn your body to hold and lift the heavy shovel. When you reach for something that is in the back seat of your car can cause stress in the spinal tissue. Do not lift children, wet heavy clothes and similar heavy objects.

– Massage

Massage is very helpful when it comes to back pain. Our muscles function effectively and properly when they are free from waste formations. A proper gentle massage for the back opens the blood vessels, increases blood flow, and helps in reducing stress, pain and stiffness in the muscles and the nerves.

– Pay attention to good posture

It is very important to hold good posture when standing and sitting. While sitting, remember not to curve, lean or hunch as this posture creates a lot of stress on the muscles, discs and ligaments, simultaneously causing back pain and difficulties in the healing treatment. Keep the back curves aligned by rolling up a piece of fabric measured with the size of the forearm. Put the fabric or the towel in the small of the back, since this is the place where our back curves the most. This way, you support the lower back when seated. You should also support the neck.

– Practice more moving

When you have back pain you should avoid long rests. Try to move and stretch your muscles constantly, or in intervals of 15-30 minutes of sitting. Also, when you travel, try to walk or move a bit every hour. If your work requires long time of sitting, walk around your office or go outside for a break if it is possible. Make sure you move and relax your muscles.

Where is back pain more common?

– Back pain is most likely to occur with aging, starting in the thirties.

– People who are not fit and are of a poor health are likely to suffer back pain.

– Heredity contributes to back pain, scoliosis, spondylitis, lordosis and such are hereditary factors causing pain the back.

– Back pain occurs with obesity. Try to lead healthy lifestyle, without saturated fats and highly caloric diets.

– Your work can provide you with back pain. If you have to push, pull, lift up heavy objects, twist the spine or sit for a longer period of time, without paying attention to the posture, you are prone to back pain.

Best ways to stretch your back in 5 minutes, as proposed by the physical therapist Eric Robertson

1. Child’s pose

Begin on the hands and knees. Lean back and sit, so your back side rests on your heels. Then, lengthen your spine while extending your hands forwards. You will feel slight stretch in your middle and lower back. Keep this position for 15 seconds.

2. Modified cobra

Start facing down on the ground. With your hands firmly placed on the floor, beyond the shoulders, slowly start lifting the torso. You will feel your back a bit extended when you look down to align your neck with the spine. Stay in the position for 15 seconds.

3. Piriformis

While lying on your back with knees bent, cross the left leg over the right one. Slowly pull the right thigh to your chest. You will feel a gentle stretch in the butt and your hips. Hold it for 20 seconds and afterwards, repeat with legs switched.