The back is literally your body's support system, made up of more than 30 bones and hundreds of nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. But all those moving parts mean it's vulnerable to problems, too.
"Women are particularly susceptible to pain because they lug around extra weight every day, from purses and grocery bags to a kid on their hip," says Heidi Prather, D.O., chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Plus, many of us have gained weight and lost the time to exercise over the years, weakening our back muscles. Is it any wonder that almost five million women each year see doctors due to low back pain?
Luckily, back issues are easier to resolve than you may think. Use this guide to pinpoint what's causing yours, so you get the right treatment, fast -- and prevent future flare-ups.
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