JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Causes of backache and pain. Illustration of a human back, dissected to show at left the muscles (red) and at right the bones (brown), ligaments (pink-white) and nerves (yellow). Electrical bolts signify painful conditions such as backache and sciatica. Aches in the lower back are usually due to muscle injuries, tension and spasms. Lumbago, a condition where the soft tissues around the bones of the spine have been strained, can be caused by incorrectly lifting heavy loads. The sciatic nerves run from the spine down into the legs, and if these nerves or their nerve roots are compressed (usually by a slipped spinal disc), this causes sharp shooting pains down the affected leg.
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