Lower back pain is one of mankind's most prevalent, persistent, and perplexing maladies. About 74 million Americans are affected with recurring back problems.

To understand why backs can ache, it helps to get acquainted with a 'lil anatomy. The core structure of the back is the spine, which sweeps in an S-shaped curve from the base of the skull to the small of the back and provides support for the entire body. The spine consists of a series of vertebrae (your bones) encased by muscles andligaments. Between vertebrae are shock-absorbing discs that help protect the spine form injury and permit the vertebrae to move freely.

The spine's design and construction permits flexibility and duribility. Yet because of the many joints and varied movement to which it is subjected, the spine, if not treated properly, can bebcome vulnerable to injury. The lower back area, composed of five vertebrae bears the greatest load and is the site of most back problems. Most back pain results from having bad "back habits" and being in poor physical shape.