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Back Injury

Most people take having a functioning, pain-free back for granted. But if you’ve been unfortunate enough to suffer a major back injury, you know that back pain can negatively impact almost every aspect of your life. Here’s what you need to know about common back injuries, their causes, and how to treat them.

What Are Common Causes of Back Injuries?

What Are Common Causes of Back Injuries?

Your back is more vulnerable to injury than you might think. Here are some of the most common causes of different kinds of back injuries:

Heavy Lifting or Lifting Improperly

Improper posture puts excess stress on your spine. When you add the stress of lifting something heavy, you increase your risk of injury.

However, it’s still possible to experience a back injury if you lift with perfect posture. Repeated heavy lifting makes a back injury much more likely. For instance, if you regularly lift heavy items as part of your job, you might be more likely to suffer a workplace injury.


Sudden impacts to your spine make injuries more likely. Because falling from a significant height creates massive force, falls can cause catastrophic injuries. For example, you might suffer fractures to one or more vertebrae if your spine hits the ground hard enough.

Falls may also cause spinal cord injuries. If your spinal cord is damaged or severed, you may experience paralysis and other neurological issues. In some cases, spinal cord injuries can be fatal.

Car Accidents

Car accidents can cause almost every kind of injury, from mild sprains and strains to fractures, ruptured discs, and spinal cord injuries. Because many people go into shock after an auto accident, it’s possible to suffer a serious back injury and not know it at first. Even if you think you’re okay, you should get a medical evaluation after a car crash.

Disc Degeneration

As you age, discs (the circles of fibrous tissue that cushion your vertebrae) start to wear out. Some people are more prone to this degeneration than others. If degeneration is bad enough, you might suffer a disc rupture just doing day-to-day activities.

Pregnancy or Excess Weight

Pregnancy both alters the curve of your spine and adds extra stress on your back. Excess weight can cause chronic pain and even injury.

What Are Some Common Types of Back Injuries and Their Treatments?

There are many different types of back injuries, and without a medical diagnosis, it can be difficult to tell which type you have. Here are some of the most common back injuries and how they can be treated.

Sprains or Strains

Many people use the terms “sprain” and “strain” interchangeably, but there’s a key difference:

  • A strain is an injury to the tendons or muscles
  • A sprain is an injury to the ligaments

Generally, but not always, a back sprain takes longer to heal than a strain. As back injuries go, strains and sprains are typically mild. In most cases, your doctor will recommend RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) for a few weeks.

Sprains and strains can be painful. However, if you follow your doctor’s orders and are careful to avoid re-injury, it’s unlikely that a strain or sprain will continue to cause problems.


Your vertebrae are the bones that protect your spinal cord. Some types of injuries can cause fractures – or breaks – in the vertebrae. Just like any other kind of fracture, a fracture in your vertebrae can be very mild, very severe, or anywhere in between.

Mild fractures often look like small hairline cracks. Just because they’re mild doesn’t mean they aren’t painful, though. Even mild fractures can cause swelling, pain, numbness, and related symptoms.

Severe fractures might cause portions of your vertebrae to break off. “Burst” fractures can also shatter a vertebra into many pieces. Major fractures like these can cause serious instability in your spine. And, as you may have guessed, when the bones surrounding your spinal cord are damaged, it might cause damage to your spinal cord itself.

In many cases, vertebral fractures will heal on their own with rest. However, if the fracture is severe enough, you might need surgery.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that connects your brain to the other nerves in your body. It’s like an information highway. If that highway is broken or damaged, it means that your brain can’t effectively communicate with other parts of your body. That can cause paralysis or other nerve issues.

If you have a complete spinal cord injury, you may lose all feeling and control of your body below the point of the injury. If you have an incomplete injury, you’ll experience some symptoms (like partial numbness), but you’ll still have some feeling and/or control.

Unfortunately, there’s currently no way to reverse spinal cord damage. However, steroid injections and other treatments to reduce swelling can relieve some of the pressure and improve symptoms somewhat.

Disc Ruptures

You might hear this injury described as a “slipped disc” or a “herniated disc.” It happens when a part of the nucleus (the jelly-like center of a spinal disc) escapes through a tear in the annulus (the tough exterior of the disc).

For some people, a disc rupture causes no symptoms. For others, it can cause pain, weakness, and numbness. That weakness and numbness can get worse if the part of the nucleus that’s sticking out starts to put pressure on your spinal nerves. 

Disc ruptures are often treated with physical therapy and steroid injections to reduce swelling. If symptoms persist, you might need surgery.

Spinal Stenosis

Some of your spinal nerves move through openings in your backbone. If these openings become smaller, they might push on the nerves, causing numbness, pain, and other nerve problems.

Many different things can cause spinal stenosis, including ruptured discs, bone spurs, tumors, and traumatic injuries. This kind of injury rarely gets better over time. 

In some cases, your doctor might decide to do surgery to widen the opening in your backbone. For instance, if part of a ruptured disc is sticking out and pushing on a spinal nerve, doing surgery to remove the part of the disc that’s sticking out can remove the pressure and improve your symptoms.

Has Your Back Been Injured Because Someone Else Was Negligent?

Mild back injuries often heal uneventfully. But if you’ve suffered a severe back injury, you know that physical pain, lost wages, emotional distress, and financial difficulties can all take a toll. 

At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, we believe that if someone else caused your back injury, you shouldn’t be left to struggle through the healing process yourself. We’re committed to getting justice for our injured Las Vegas community members. If you’ve suffered a back injury, get in touch with our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers by calling at (702) 222-9999 for a free consultation today.

Areas We Serve

At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers our personal injury lawyers serve the following localities: Angel Park, Anthem, Boulder City, Downtown Las Vegas, East Las Vegas, Gibson Springs, Green Valley, Henderson, Lake Las Vegas, MacDonald Ranch, McCullough Hills, Mission Hills, Paradise, Peccole Ranch, Queensridge, Reno, Seven Hills, Smoke Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, The Lakes, The Strip, Whitney, and more.
We also represent accident victims in Oakland, CA.

About Our Firm

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, located in Las Vegas, NV, is a personal injury law firm established over 30 years ago.
We have 100+ years of combined experience securing hundreds of millions for injured people throughout Nevada. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your case.

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