The spine is comprise of a column of 24 bones called vertebrae. Together they create a bony canal that surrounds and protects the spinal cord. Small nerves enter and exit the spinal cord through spaces in the vertebrae. These nerves transmit messages between your brain and the rest of your body. Pain is often generated when the nerves are irritated or compressed. Nerve irritation in many instances occurs due to disc damage. This is commonly referred to as herniated, protruding or slipped disc.
Another possible source of back pain is the facet joints of the spine. These joints allow for smooth spinal motion when they are properly aligned. If their position is compromised, symptoms occur which manifest as pain. It has been shown that chronic back pain sufferers learn to compensate for their spinal abnormality by engaging muscles not normally utilized in the specific activity. If the spine is not restored to its optimal position, daily activities can accelerate spinal degeneration leading to pronounced wear and tear.