What Are the Most Common Back Injuries?

Man with neck and back pain. Man rubbing his painful back close up. Pain relief concept

Did you know that over 1 million workers see a doctor for a back injury every year? In fact, back injuries are one of the most common workplace injuries overall. They account for approximately one out of every five injuries that occur on the job.

There are a variety of common back injuries that can cause debilitating pain for patients of all ages. There are different causes of back pain, many of which can be resolved with adequate pain management.

If you’re wondering, “have I injured my back?” it may help to understand the common types of back pain and issues that typically arise following a minor or major back injury.

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about the different types of back pain.

What Are the Most Common Back Injuries?

Several injuries can affect the soft tissues, joints, bones, and nerves along the spinal column. Here are four of the most common back injuries seen in orthopedics.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Sprains and strains are very common in the US population. They make up some of the most common back injuries. Sprains occur due to stretching or even tears of a ligament. A ligament helps to connect one or more bones to another, and there are many along the spine and back region.

On the other hand, strains involve tearing or overstretching a muscle or tendon. Tendons help to attach muscles to bones.

These may occur due to a traumatic injury like a car accident or chronically from overuse injury. People who play sports or lift weights can place undue stress on the soft tissues and cause sprains or strains.

This facility is just one of many providing pain management services to patients with soft tissue injuries.

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs are other common back injuries, especially in the older population. This is because degeneration of these discs continues with age. Discs support the spinal bones during movement as a cushion or shock absorber.

Sometimes these discs can pop out of the normal position and compress a nerve. When this occurs, the nerve will signal pain signals to the brain, which can be frustrating and even debilitating.

Degenerative Spinal Injuries

Other types of degenerative spine diseases include spinal stenosis and arthritis. Stenosis occurs when the space for the spinal cord travel through the spinal bones becomes narrower. This can cause compression and pain.

Similarly, arthritis affects the joints that facilitate movement of the spine. This is similar to arthritis in the knee or hip.


Fractures can occur due to osteoporosis, trauma, or even metastatic cancer.

Fractures of the spine can be highly dangerous and result in paralysis if not handled appropriately and quickly.

The most common symptom is pain that will get worse with movement. If you suspect a fracture, you should see an emergency physician right away.

Understanding Common Back Injuries

At the end of the day, there are dozens of reasons why your back may be hurting. Common back injuries include fractures, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, soft tissue injuries, and more. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s best to see an orthopedic or emergency provider to best address your problem efficiently.

If you enjoyed this article about types of back pain, please check out the other articles on our blog!