Spine Injuries Can Happen In Sports

Sports are among the top reasons for spinal injuries. This is no surprise considering that 20% of sports injuries are back or spine-related. Sports with a high risk of spine injuries are football, wrestling, diving, ice hockey, skiing, snowboarding, and rugby. Because of this, myths about sports-related spine injuries have popped up over the years. Here are the 3 most common myths:

city place surgery 3 Myths About Sports-Related Spine Injuries Risk Factors _ Treatments

1. All spine injuries involve the spinal cord

Spine injuries sound scary as the assumption is the spinal cord is damaged or affected. Spinal cord damage may be true for some rare cases, but not for all. Most sports injuries involve the other components that make up the spine. These parts include vertebrae, facet joints, spinal discs, back muscles, and ligaments. These surround and protect the spinal cord. Therefore, anyone experiencing back pain after sports shouldn’t panic. Consult a doctor to find the cause of the pain.

2. Safety equipment can prevent spine-related injury

High contact sports, like football and hockey, have protective equipment. However, a helmet and some shoulder pads only provide added protection to some body parts. These pieces of equipment cannot prevent injury or guarantee 100% safety. Limit movements or physical contact that can cause serious injury. Remember the training and techniques taught to lessen the risk of any damage. Proper form and well-coordinated movements will help athletes finish a game without any spinal injury.

3. You can’t protect your spine in sports

Technically, no sport provides equipment that protects the spine. As a result, there is a common myth that there’s no way to protect the spine during sports. Proper techniques are the key to keeping the spine safe during the game. However, spinal protection happens before the game. Proper stretching helps with flexibility and prevents injury. Moreover, strengthening the back by lighting weights keeps the spine safe all season.

Other risk factors

Without a doubt, collisions in sports can cause spinal injuries. However, there are other risk factors, like age and gender. The average age of those who suffer from spine injuries is 43. More so, 90% of sports-related spinal cord injuries happen to men. Regardless, a spine injury may still happen to anyone of any age.

Common treatments

The most common treatment for any sports injury is the RICE method, namely rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This method is suitable for mild injuries only and is helpful within 24-36 hours after the injury. Over-the-counter pain medications may also help to relieve pain and swelling. A sports physical therapist may use massage therapy or other stretching techniques during recovery. If the pain persists, an x-ray or MRI can determine the root cause of the issue.

When to see your doctor

Most back injuries respond well to the RICE method and medication if needed. However, if the damage looks or feels a lot worse, see a doctor or orthopedic specialist immediately. Some signs to visit a doctor include severe swelling, nerve pain, visible lumps, or other deformities. Instability, fever, and dizziness are other severe symptoms. Enjoy the excitement, success, and adrenaline of sports but protect the back at all times.

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