Extremely common symptom that can be caused by a number of disorders. The source of the pain can be in the spine, in nerves entering or leaving the spinal cord, or in the back muscles. Disorders of the abdominal organs such as the kidneys, gall bladder and womb are also often responsible for back pain. The commonest cause, however, is overloading of the spine or back muscles. It is important to keep the spine in as neutral a position as possible during movement and at rest. An abnormal position sustained for a long period puts a heavy demand on the intervertebral discs and back muscles. This can happen when sitting on a high chair in an office, or when sleeping on a mattress that is too soft. Lifting should be done with a straight back to distribute the weight evenly throughout the discs and to spare the back muscles. Slipped discs, which then exert pressure on a nerve, are caused by incorrect loading of the spine. Lumbago, sudden severe pain in the lower back, is caused by excessive use of back muscles, or by a chill. Walking difficulties as a result of foot disorders, different leg lengths or painful joints often cause backache because of incorrect loading of the spine or back muscles. Backache also almost always occurs in spinal abnormalities caused by infection, injury or metastasized

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