Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for visiting a doctor. Most North Americans will experience low back pain at some time in their lives. Back pain is costly to the health care system and is a common reason for time away from work.
The lower back consists of the vertebrae of the spine, muscles, and ligaments. The spine contains intervertebral discs, a kind of cushion made of cartilage that fits between two vertebrae (bone segments). Injury or disease of the muscles, ligaments, or discs of the lower back can cause back pain.
The risk of low back injury is higher for people who are overweight, have poor posture, or have weak back and abdominal muscles.