Spine Injuries | Back Sprains | MedStar Health

US News Best Hospitals - Orthopedics - 2023-24The spine is the skeletal structure that runs from the base of the skull to the tail bone and acts as protection for the spinal cord. The spine acts as a flexible tube made up of vertebra and discs through which the spinal cord travels, carrying nerve messages to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and organs of the body.

The spine is composed of four main sections: the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral segments. Injuries to the spine can range from a mild musculoskeletal sprain or strain to the catastrophic, including permanent paralysis or even death.

Due to the potential for permanent or life-threatening consequences, all spinal injuries should be treated immediately by qualified medical professionals. While most serious injuries to the spine result from forceful impact, others are congenital (present at birth) and postural in nature. Some of these are indicators of more serious injury to the spine.

Common Spine Injuries and Conditions

  • Sprains and strains

  • Fractures

  • Dislocations

  • Ruptured or herniated disc(s)

Congenital/Postural Conditions

  • Spinal stenosis

  • Spondylolysis

  • Spondylolisthesis

  • Lordosis

  • Scoliosis

  • Kyphosis

Please note: If you notice any change in sensory or motor function anywhere in the body after a neck and/or back injury, prompt medical attention should be consulted before resuming any further physical activity.

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Dr. Oliver Tannous, spine surgeon at MedStar Health, poses for a photo with a patient.

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