Severity of Back InjuriesSkip to the navigation
Most back injuries are caused by lifting or twisting and are not serious. Minor injuries can also result from overuse of the muscles and ligaments in the back. Back pain caused by a minor injury will usually go away by itself within 1 to 4 weeks.
Moderate back injuries may result from tripping or falling short distances. They frequently involve excessive twisting of the spine.
Severe back injuries are more likely to cause more serious problems. Severe back injuries may be caused by:
- High-energy injuries, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls from significant heights, and major sports-related injuries.
- Direct blows to the spine from moving objects.
- Blows that transmit significant force to the spine, such as being struck on top of the head or falling on the buttocks.
- Penetrating injuries, such as gunshot wounds or stab wounds.
Severe back injuries must be checked by a doctor right away.
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Current as ofNovember 20, 2015
Current as of: November 20, 2015
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.