Your back has three natural curves, forming an S shape.
The cervical curve is made up of the first seven bones, or vertebrae, in your neck and back. The middle of your back is called the thoracic curve,
while the lower back is the lumbosacral curve. Below the lumbar vertebrae are five more vertebrae which are fused together called the sacrum.
The coccyx is the very bottom structure of the bony part of your spine. It is made of three to five small vertebrae attached to the bottom of
your sacrum; the end of your coccyx is sometimes called your tailbone.
Back pain has physical, mental, and emotional factors. The wide variety of potential causes for back pain can present this pain and discomfort
in several different ways, all of which affect your quality of life by limiting your ability or taking away the pleasure when pain accompanies the
things you enjoy doing.
Some common causes of back pain are:
A general back problem or spinal condition can include many different symptoms: Throbbing, aching, shooting,
stabbing, dull, or sharp pain; pain down one or both legs with very little pain in the lower back; numbness
or weakness in the legs; pain down in the lower back and legs in certain positions such as standing or walking;
sleep problems, decreased energy, depression and anxiety; or pain that stress and emotional issues causes or makes worse.
In general, the goal of treatment for back pain is simple: To improve the pain symptoms, prevent further injury, and get
you back into your life and the activities you enjoy. While specific circumstances will dictate treatment, following
an examination, we generally recommend that those experiencing back pain modify their activity for a given period of
time and may recommend medication to decrease pain and inflammation. However, complete inactivity such as bed rest is not advised.
Spinal fusion: Traditional vs. Modern Approach
Traditionally, surgeons have performed spinal fusion as an open procedure, which involves making an incision, stripping bands
of muscle and retracting muscle and tissue for a clear view of the spine and easy access to the vertebrae for implantation.