4 Most Common Spinal Related Injuries That Can Cause Chronic Pain

The spine consists of 33 small bones known as vertebrae. These small bones are divided by disc cushions that have the power to absorb shocks and tolerate pressure. The spine is surrounded by muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nearby nerves that travel throughout the whole body.

An injury to any of these areas can cause spinal problems. Similarly, an injury to the spine itself can trigger problems in all these areas.


The symptoms and signs of common spine injuries depend on the severity of the injury and which nerves are affected. However, back pain and neck pain are some of the most common symptoms of spine injuries. The pain further causes the restriction of movement. 

If the nearby nerves are affected due to an injury, it can cause nerve root pain, which can trigger the sensation of numbness and tingling in the arms, fingers, and legs. In severe cases, loss of limb coordination, difficulty in walking or climbing, and loss of bladder and bowel control are also the symptoms. 

Since spinal injuries can cause such potential complications, you cannot just treat them at home or visit your primary care physician. It is critical that you visit a specialized spine doctor to make sure that you are not risking anything serious.


Traumatic injuries are the most common causes of spine-related injuries. In most cases, spine injuries are caused by car accidents. However, sporting accidents, such as horseback riding, diving, and contact sports, like soccer and football, are also among the causes of spine injuries. 

Moreover, arthritis, strenuous repetition of the body, degenerative joint diseases, and inappropriate lifting are among the non-traumatic causes of spine-related injuries.

In some cases, spine issues can also be genetic or present at birth. Most cases of spine problems are treatable with short-term or long-term treatments. 

In injuries where the patients quit the treatment as soon as the pain goes away, the injury gets suppressed instead of being eradicated. This can turn into chronic pain later when the injury is triggered back. 

Most Common Spinal Cord Injuries

Below are some of the most common spine-related injuries that need proper treatment if you don’t want chronic pain in the future.

  1. Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common spinal cord injuries, mostly caused by car accidents. Other probable causes are contact sports, trips, and falls.

A traumatic injury of whiplash occurs when your body is suddenly forced forwards, causing your neck to go through a rapid back and forth motion, which results in the mess-up of your torque – the place where the spinal cord connects with the brain. 

Technically, whiplash is a spine-related neck injury, but its symptoms can cause immense pain in the upper back along with the neck. Depending on the severity of the injury, the pain can take a week or two to go away completely, while the symptoms of the injury might take up to 4 to 5 weeks to completely vanish. 

To make sure the pain doesn’t linger for long, opt for the best whiplash treatment and defeat your injury from its root.2

2. Herniated Disc

Each spine is made of small bones stack-up vertically. These bones are called vertebrae. The cushions in-between each of these bones is discs. These discs have two parts, internal and external. The internal part of these discs contains a jelly-like substance, called nucleus pulposus, which has the power to absorb shocks. The external part is called the annulus that keeps the internal fluid of the discs inside.  

However, in the case of herniated disc injury, the substance inside the discs starts leaking out and pressurizes the other nerves in the spinal cord. This results in immense pain in the lower and upper back, and nerve root pain. If the case is severe, the pain can spread into other parts of the body, like the head and shoulders.

Disc herniation injury can be caused by car accidents, contact sports, falls, or any traumatic force on the body. If the treatment is not followed properly till the end to recover from a herniated disc, the pain can suppress somewhere in the body with just one more chance to trigger itself back. Therefore, it is critical to be treated until all the symptoms completely vanish.’

3. Spinal Nerve Compression

We learned above that spine complications, like herniated disc, can cause pressure to the nearby nerves, triggering further complications. However, external compression on the spinal cord is also common that needs to be addressed.

The causes of spinal nerve compression are traumatic force, like sports or accidents, a degenerative disease like arthritis, abscess, or a tumor. 

Depending on how worse the case is, symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling sensation, weakness in arms and legs, dizziness, and restricted movement.

Spinal nerve compression can be treated with chiropractic care involving spinal decompression techniques. Without proper treatment from a professional, the damage can be caused to spinal nerves, which can result in the worst complications, such as inability to walk and loss of bladder and bowel movement controls.

4. Spinal Deformity

Spinal deformity is a gradually formed spine abnormality that results in the curve of the spine that is different from normal and is not healthy. The normal shape of the spine is S-shape if seen from the side, or a straight line if seen from the back.

Spinal deformities are usually caused when the person has been used to sitting, standing, and sleeping in a bad posture throughout a significant period of their life. People who do weightlifting with the wrong techniques are also likely to catch spine deformities at some point.  

Depending on the severity, the symptoms of spine deformities can include chronic back pain, numbness, weakness, and cardiac and pulmonary issues. The treatment of spine deformities is long-term and gradual, however, it is necessary if the patient wants their life to go back to nearly normal.

Apart from common ones, other spine-related problems that induce chronic pain in the future are spinal disc fractures, scoliosis, spinal tumors, and lumbar spinal stenosis. 

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