Category: Spinal Cord Injury | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 27, 2016
Spine injuries aren’t the most common injury during most athletic activities, but thousands of athletes are taken to the emergency room each year because they suffered an injury to their back or spine. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to protecting and caring for our spines after an injury during athletic activity. Today, we seek to clear up four myths and misconceptions about spine injuries during sports.
Pain in other areas your body is not due to an issue in your spine
Now, not every injury has to do with your spine, but you’d be surprised to learn how frequently we tell people that the shooting pain they are experiencing in their arm or leg is actually due to a pinched nerve in their spine. Just because your back doesn’t hurt, doesn’t mean it’s not home to the problem causing pain in other areas of your body.
Sports equipment always protects my spine
The purpose of a football helmet and pads are to protect your head, neck and spine, but oftentimes these pieces of equipment also play a role in our injury. Because they believe their helmet is fully protecting their heads, young football players will often lead with their helmet when making a tackle, which can lead to a severe spinal cord injury. Seat belts are designed to keep us safe in the event of an accident, but that doesn’t mean you should feel safe running red lights. Helmets are designed to protect our head and spine, but that doesn’t mean we should use improper form and put our spine at risk.
If you can play through back pain, it’s not a problem
Sometimes this sentiment is true, but just because spine pain isn’t debilitating doesn’t mean you should try to play through the injury. For example, playing through a bulging disc in your spine can lead to a full herniation, which can knock you out for the remainder of the year. If you are experiencing back pain, talk to your doctor about your issues before deciding if playing in the next game is truly in your best interests.
Rest is the best way to recover from a spine injury
Rest certainly plays an important role in your spine injury recovery, but it should not be your only treatment method. Depending on your injury, you might need to pair rest with physical therapy, a healthy diet, anti-inflammatory medications, chiropractic care, pain injections or even surgery to aide your spine in recovery. Your doctor or surgeon will walk you through the best treatment options depending on your exact spinal condition.