Your back is prone to injury because of its weight-bearing function and involvement in moving, twisting and bending. The back is a complex structure of bone and muscle, supported by cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, and fed by a network of blood vessels and nerves. The lower back is the most common site of back injuries and back pain.
Back injuries can result from improper lifting of a heavy object, direct blows to the back or the top of the head, a high-energy fall onto the buttocks, penetrating injury such as a stab wound or a sudden movement such as a car accident.
Back pain can cause problems anywhere from the neck to the tailbone. The back includes:
- The bones and joints of the spine (vertebrae).
- The discs that separate the vertebrae and absorb shock as you move.
- The muscles and ligaments that hold the spine together.
Common back injuries include
A strain is caused when ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles of the lower back are abnormally stretched or torn. A strain is an injury to either a muscle or tendon. Tendons are the tough, fibrous bands of tissue that connect muscle to bone. With a back strain, the muscles and tendons that support the spine are twisted, pulled, or torn.
A sprain is the stretching or tearing of a ligament. Ligaments are the fibrous bands of tissue that connect two or more bones at a joint and prevent excessive movement of the joint.
3. Herniated disks
A herniated, ruptured or slipped, disk is a common condition that can be painful and debilitating. These disks are what allow you to move your spine around and bend over. This condition occurs when the soft centre of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. This can irritate or compress nearby nerves and cause pain, numbness or weakness.
4. Fractured vertebrae
A spinal fracture, also called a vertebral fracture or a broken back, is a fracture affecting the vertebrae of the spinal column. A bad fall is the most common cause of a broken back. A traumatic injury from a car accident or other collision may also result in a spinal fracture. But other conditions, such as osteoporosis (weak or brittle bones) and spinal tumors, can also lead to vertebral fractures.
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