Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 21, 2017
Outside of automobile accidents, sports are one of the most common ways a person injures their spinal cord. Even though a number of people suffer spine injuries during athletic competition each year, there are still some misconceptions out there about these types of injuries. In this blog, we’re going to try and dispel three of the most common myths about sports-related spine injuries.
Myth: All Back Injuries Involve the Spinal Cord
The spinal cord is a vital component of the spine, but not all back injuries directly affect the spinal cord. Your spine is comprised of a number of different integral components. If your back is hurting after a sporting event, you could have injured your:
- Spinal Discs
- Spinal Nerves
- Back Muscles and Ligaments
- Spinal Cord
In order to figure out exactly what’s wrong, head into a spine specialist’s office. They’ll be able to conduct a physical exam and run imaging tests to determine if you’re dealing with a bulging disc, a pinched nerve, or anything in between.
Myth: Equipment will Always Protect Me
Much like your seat belt is designed to protect you in the event of a crash, a helmet and shoulder pads will give your spine some extra protection, but they are meant to be a last line of defense. You shouldn’t drive 100 mph and expect your seat belt to save you, just like you shouldn’t lead with your head when making a tackle in football. Extra emphasis should always be put on technique and training to ensure players are using proper form. If you are in control of your body and not exposing your spine to excess risk, you’ll have a greater chance of walking away from the game without spine damage.
Myth: There’s not Much you can do to Protect your Back
You can wear a helmet to protect your head, shin guards to protect your shins and braces to protect your ankles and knees, but what can you do to protect your back? A lot of people think you can’t do much to prevent a spine injury, but that’s just not true. As we mentioned above, using proper techniques is critical if you want to keep your spine healthy throughout the game, but you also need to protect your spine before the game starts. Make sure you are lifting weights and strengthening your spinal muscles during the offseason so they aren’t overstressed at the beginning of the year. Also, take time to stretch before every game to prevent muscle injuries, and stay hydrated throughout the game to avoid back spasms!
For more information on preventing sports-related spine injuries, contact Dr. Sinicropi today.