Muscle Strain or Spasm
Muscle strain, or spasm, is a common and often very painful type of back injury. It often results from overstretching certain muscles during lifting, and can be avoided by practicing proper lifting techniques. Hundreds of muscles and ligaments connect to, and support, the spine. When a muscle is strained, it may swell and cause pain by increasing pressure on small nerves that pass through the muscle. More pain can cause more contraction and begin a pain cycle difficult to break. Proper treatment relieves the problem and muscles will heal.
Ruptured or Herniated Discs
Too much pressure on the spine can cause a disc to weaken, and bulge out to one side. This bulge can push a nerve into a bony part of the spine, and cause great pain. Doctors say that the disc has "herniated," or "ruptured." A common term sometimes used for this condition is "slipped" disc. Ruptured discs do not always require surgery, but this is the most common reason for back surgery.
This ailment is usually associated with lifting. It does not generally result solely from a single lifting effort, but involves gradual wear and tear. Continued extreme exertion, especially done contrary to body structure, can contribute to ruptured discs.
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