Topic Overview

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
  • Direct blows to the spine from moving
  • Blows that transmit significant force to the spine, such
    as being struck on top of the head or falling on the
  • Penetrating injuries, such as gunshot wounds or stab

Severe back injuries must be checked by a doctor right away.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine

Current as ofMarch 20, 2017

Current as of:
March 20, 2017