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The human back is the large posterior area of the human body, rising from the top of the buttocks to the back of the neck and the shoulders. It is the surface of the body opposite from the chest. The vertebral column runs the length of the back and creates a central area of recession. The breadth of the back is created by the shoulders at the top and the pelvis at the bottom.
Back pain is a common medical condition, generally benign in origin. The central feature of the human back is the vertebral column, specifically the length from the top of the thoracic vertebrae to the bottom of the lumbar vertebrae, which houses the spinal cord in its spinal canal, and which generally has some curvature that gives shape to the back. The width of the back at the top is defined by the scapula, the broad, flat bones of the shoulders. View of the bones of the thorax and shoulders from behind.
The spine is bordered by several groups of muscles, including the intertransversarii muscles, which facilitate movement between the individual vertebrae, and the multifidus spinae, which facilitate the movement of the spine as a whole. Other muscles in the back are associated with the movement of the neck and shoulders. The trapezius muscle, which is named from its trapezium-like shape, runs between the neck, the anterior chain, the two shoulders, and the thoracic vertebra, T12. The large latissimus dorsi make a triangle from the shoulder to the hip.
The lungs are within the ribcage, and extend to the back of the ribcage making it possible for them to be listened into through the back. The kidneys are situated beneath the muscles in the area below the end of the ribcage, loosely connected to the peritoneum. A strike to the lower back can damage the kidneys of the person being hit.
The skin of the human back is thicker and has fewer nerve endings than the skin on any other part of the torso. The upper-middle back is also the one area of the body which a typical human under normal conditions might be unable to physically touch. Distribution of cutaneous nerves, dorsal aspect. Dorsal and lateral cutaneous branches labeled at center right.
The skin of the back is innervated by the dorsal cutaneous branches, as well as the lateral abdominal cutaneous branches of intercostal nerves. The intricate anatomy of the back provides support for the head and trunk of the body, strength in the trunk of the body, as well as a great deal of flexibility and movement.