The Sporting Spine: Common Back And Neck Injuries Suffered By Athletes

Spine injuries

Spine injuries are a common occurrence in sports, particularly in contact sports or activities that involve high-impact movements. These injuries can range from minor sprains and strains to more serious conditions that require surgical intervention. Spine injuries can have a significant impact on an athlete’s performance and quality of life, as they can cause chronic pain, limited mobility, and other complications.

Herniated Disc Injuries 

One of the most common spine injuries in sports is a herniated disc, which occurs when the soft tissue between the spinal vertebrae bulges or ruptures. This can put pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord, causing pain and other symptoms. Treatment options for herniated discs in athletes include rest, physical therapy, and, in severe cases, surgery. Stem cell therapy can sometimes be utilised as a potential treatment option for herniated discs, with companies like bioxcellerator.com pioneering its development. 

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Spinal Cord Injuries 

Another common spine injury in sports is a spinal cord injury, which can result from trauma to the spine or neck. These injuries can cause partial or complete paralysis, depending on the severity of the damage. Treatment options for spinal cord injuries in athletes include surgery, rehabilitation, and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. Spinal cord injuries have been known to completely terminate a person’s sporting career. 

Spondylolysis And Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis are spine injuries that commonly affect young athletes who participate in activities that involve repetitive stress on the spine, such as gymnastics or football. These injuries involve stress fractures or slippage of the vertebrae in the lower back, which can cause pain and limited mobility. Treatment options for spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis in athletes include rest, physical therapy, and, in severe cases, surgery.

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Compression Fractures 

Compression fractures of the spine can also occur in athletes, particularly those who participate in high-impact sports such as soccer or rugby. These injuries involve the collapse of one or more vertebrae in the spine, which can cause pain, limited mobility, and other complications. Treatment options for compression fractures in athletes include rest and pain management. In some severe cases, doctors may advise their patients to have surgery to correct compression fractures

Stenosis

Finally, spinal stenosis is a spine injury that can occur in athletes as a result of degenerative changes in the spine or as a result of trauma. This condition involves the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord, causing pain and other symptoms. Treatment options for spinal stenosis in athletes include rest, physical therapy, and, in severe cases, surgery. 

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The surgery used to treat spinal stenosis is called a laminectomy, which involves the removal of a portion of the vertebral bone called the lamina. This procedure can relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, improving symptoms such as pain and weakness. In some cases, the surgery may also involve the removal of part of a spinal disc or the fusion of adjacent vertebrae to stabilize the spine. 

Spine injuries

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