How Back Pain Emerges

The spinal column is a chain, whose links, those movement segments, have various and differing mechanical loads. The primary source of loading is caused by the body weight pressing on the spinal column. This weight would collapse the spinal column upon itself at the first movement, if it were not for strong ligaments and muscles.

Muscles and ligaments, which are attached to the spinal column, extent, contract and reliably stop all motion. This relaxation and contraction is done in a coordinated manner. This is true for both long back muscles, which extend from the neck to the sacrum, and for the short muscle, which provide connections between the vertebral bodies.

Through coordinated extension and contraction of single muscle groups, body bending, stretching, rotations of head and torso, different positions such as, sitting and lying, and changes of positions become possible. For example, in bending forward, the ventral muscles and dorsal muscles work together to coordinate the corresponding change in position.

When the torso twists to one side as in a rotation, the ligaments and muscles opposite the contracting side extend together. In this manner the ligaments and muscles provide and maintain, along with the joints and the spinal disks, the flexibility and stability of the spinal column with the most varied type of weight bearing and movement.

The tensile stress on the tendons on the spine is enormous. It was measured in various load positions with an average of 70 kilograms at the third and fourth lumbar vertebral body.

The load the spinal column experiences ,while sitting, is more than it experiences while standing, walking or lying. The absolute load on the vertebrae increases with higher body weight. The is a definite relationship between body weight and pressure on the spine.