Slide show: Causes of back pain
Illustration of spine with degenerative changes
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Degenerative changes develop in the vertebrae as the spinal disks become flatter and less flexible. Without the cushioning that these disks normally provide, the joints (facets) between vertebrae press tightly against each other. This can cause back pain and stiffness. Your body may try to compensate for these changes by building new bone to support the area where loading pressure is increased.

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