Oh, my aching back...answers to the quiz!

Here you go - the answers to Wednesday's quiz, taken from an article in Vitality magazine. Enjoy!

1) B - 12 million. Turns out 8 in 10 people will have back pain sometime in their lives.

2) C - spinal cord. The spinal cord is part of the central nervous system. The brain is the other part.

3) C - damage to cartilage and spine. When osteoarthritis occurs in the spine, the cartilage wears down and the space between the vertebrae decreases. The spinal nerves can become pinched, causing pain. As the condition worsens, the person may feel numbness, weakness in the back, muscle spasms and stiffness.

4) D - all four choices. Also important, according to the NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke): Don't slouch while sitting or standing. Don't stand or work in any one position for a long time. Don't smoke. Sleep on your side with your knees drawn (which was the other small piece of advice my nurse gave me!). Lastly, try to reduce stress in your life that causes muscle tension.

5) C - disc material has bulged into the spinal cord. Discs are made of tough, elastic tissue. They are found between each of the vertebrae of the spine. The elastic tissue acts as a shock absorber for the vertebrae.

6) D - all four choices. The most common cause of a slipped disc is aging. The elastic tissue of the disc breaks down and weakens with age. The ligaments holding the disc in place also weaken as you grow older. Some people are more prone to having a slipped disc, so a sudden twisting or sudden strain on the back may result in one.


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