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The source of your backache shouldn't be hard to find. If you're a woman under 50, you can probably blame one of these common culprits.
Muscle Strain It's easy to pull the large muscles in your upper or lower back: Reaching for something or carrying your kids' lacrosse gear to the car can do it. The injured muscle will feel stiff and sore, especially the next morning. In some cases the muscle will "knot up" in painful spasms within a few hours of being hurt.
Misaligned Facet Joint Poor posture and prolonged sitting can send the small structures that link the vertebrae of the spine out of whack. This can cause a slightly one-sided pain that gets worse when you arch your back.
Herniated Disc Normal wear and tear can cause the cushions between your vertebrae to rupture or bulge. The injured disc may press on nerve roots along the spine, causing pain. If the disc pushes on a main leg nerve, it's known as sciatica—sharp, shooting pain through the buttock and back of one leg.