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Health Tip: Understanding Low Back Pain

- Low back pain -- ranging from mild discomfort to debilitating agony -- plagues nearly everyone at some point. But even mild low back pain can interfere with your life and your work.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons lists these common causes of low back pain:

  • Lifting an object using the back, not the legs.
  • Degenerative changes in the spine as people age.
  • Straining the back during activity.
  • An injury (tear or herniation) to a disc in the spine.
  • Spondylolisthesis, a condition in which the vertebrae slip out of place and put pressure on nerves in the spine.
  • Spinal stenosis, which occurs when the space around the spine narrows, resulting in pressure on nearby nerves and the spinal cord.
  • Scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine.
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Posted: August 2009