What Causes Back Injuries?
- Muscle strain or sprain in the back
- Fracture or dislocation of the spine
- A ruptured or torn disc
- An injury leading to compression of the nerves
As we age, our bodies, unfortunately, do not function as well as they did when we were younger. With that said, one thing that occurs as we age is the wearing away and shrinking of our discs between the vertebrae, which leads to back pain and stiffness as the bones begin to rub together.
Discs help maintain the natural curvature of your spine and allow your back to flex or bend. Even more, discs help absorb shock as you walk or run. So, when these discs become irritated from friction, it can cause a great deal of pain over time.
Another common issue as we age is osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis caused by "wear and tear." Some joints connect the vertebrae and are lined with cartilage. As you age, this cartilage begins to deteriorate, and your discs become narrower. As a result, there is more pressure on your joints.
Trauma to the Back
There are many types of trauma to the back that can lead to a chronic back injury. Trauma is generally caused by an acute (sudden) injury. Here are a few examples of trauma to the back.
Identifying an Acute Injury
An acute injury may be sudden or severe. In addition to this, bruising or swelling may develop because of the damage. It is important to note that pain from an acute injury will typically last no longer than six weeks.
Job-Related Back Pain
It is not uncommon for individuals to develop chronic back pain due to tasks performed at their jobs. It is especially the case for those who work jobs that consist of hard manual labor. However, whether working or not, anyone can develop back pain.
If you work a job that requires repetitive motion, especially movements that involve rotating the spine, this can lead to a back injury. Simultaneously, remaining in a position for long periods of inactivity, such as sitting for a desk job, can increase the chances of experiencing back pain and lead to injury due to bad posture.