Receiving a powerful impact on the lower back can cause spinal damage in the form of herniated/ruptured discs or vertebral fractures. Possible causes of these spinal injuries can include falls, sports injuries, and motor vehicle accidents.
The discs in the back are very delicate structures that are prone to injury. A herniated disc, also known as a ruptured or slipped disc, occurs when its surrounding cartilage pushes it against the nerve roots or spinal cord. This can result in compression or squeezing of the nerve root as it comes out through the vertebral bones and from the spinal cord.
Disc injury typically occurs after twisting the back or lifting something heavy. Unlike a back sprain, pain from injury of a vertebral disc usually lasts for more than 3-4 hours. Other associated symptoms may include numbness and tingling that radiates down the legs.