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The Joints between the Vertebra are called Facet Joints, and they can cause Back Pain when they misbehave.
There are a number of different ways that Facet Joints can cause Back Pain.
When you bend forward and twist to one side - say, when you are lifting a bag of messages from the floor - the mechanics of the spine can cause the Facet Joints go through an awkward change in movement/direction that can cause the Facet Joint to Subluxate (i.e. move further than it's supposed to) and this causes the joint capsule to over stretch - the result is instant - sudden back pain, muscle spasm and being unable to move.
The actual reason why this Facet Lock occurs is fairly complex, and the "Experts" still disagree on the mechanics, but it's a condition that usually responds wonderfully to Spinal Manipulation.
As we age, the Intervertebral Discs start to narrow. The Intervertebral Discs act as Bearings, they hold the vertebra apart. As the Discs narrow the Facet Joints come under greater load. This can cause some wear & tear of the cartilage that covers the facet joints, it's related to Degenerative Disc Disease. This condition is often painless, but can flare up periodically when the affected joints are subjected to unusual loads/stress. e.g. Mowing the lawn for the first time in the spring or changing a wheel after a puncture.
This condition normally responds very well to Osteopathic Treatment.