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Common Back Problems

Disc prolapse

After some stress on the spine e.g. bending, twisting or lifting, the disc bursts and the jelly like centre nucleus is squeezed out through a split in the outer annulus. The pain from this can be felt down the leg and sometimes as far as the foot. You may experience numbness and tingling sensations too.


The space around the nerves in the spinal column narrows and the nerve roots become pinched causing numbness, weakness and a tingling sensation in one or both of the legs. It can occur in any part of your spine but is most likely in the lower back. Most common in the over 60s. Osteoarthritis or wear and tear in the joints is the main cause.


This is used to describe nerve pain in the leg which is caused by irritation or compression when a slipped disc or bone rests on part of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica originates in the lower back, radiates into the buttock and down the leg. It causes pain and often some numbness or weakness in the affected leg.

Lumbar spondylosis

This is the term used for wear and tear of the lumbar spine. These changes start in the mid-twenties and are present in almost everyone by middle age. Consider that your lower back bears the weight of your body and anything you are carrying then it is hardly a surprise.


The name of the pain at the tail end of the spine or the coccyx. Accidents like slipping when walking downstairs or falling on a slippery floor and landing on your bottom are often the cause. The pain tends to occur only in a sitting position.

Neck problems

The neck shares the same structure as the rest of the spine and so can also have disc problems, whiplash and wear and tear. Neck pain may also be felt in the shoulders and arms.

Sports injuries

These can damage the tendons and muscles in the lower back. High impact sports that require pushing and pulling can lead to lumbar strain. Lumbar strain can also be caused by sports that require sudden twisting of the lower back such as tennis, cricket and golf.