Spine Conditions & Basketball Players

Category: Spinal Cord Injury | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

basketball injuryBasketball is not the most dangerous of sports since tackling and checking are not part of the game (as they are in football or hockey). But that does not mean that basketball players can sustain serious back injuries. Today’s blog topic is spine conditions and injuries that affect basketball players (from backyard players to professional NBA stars).

Basketball & Back Injuries

As a sport basketball is not as physical as American football or hockey, but when compared to those sports, basketball players do not wear any protective gear. This lack of padding can result in a number of injuries to the spine. Many professional basketball players have had their careers cut short as a result of a back injury. Sometimes players are illegally checked, or shoved to the ground by other players, which can lead directly to injuries to the spine. Here are a few common back injuries that basketball players can sustain during the game:

  • Herniated Disc. An acute injury (such as falling on the court) can cause a spinal disc to herniate and cause pain and loss of feeling.
  • Bone Spurs on the spine can develop as the result of overuse over time.
  • Sciatic nerve pain can cause intense pain in the legs and buttocks.
  • Muscle strains in the low back or neck.

These injuries can happen at any level of play – from high school auditoriums to professional arenas. No matter the age or skill level of the player, there is always hope for treatment and recovery.

Treating Basketball Spine Injuries

Many basketball back injuries can be treated with conservative methods. Rest, pain medications, and massage therapy can all be helpful. When these options fail to reduce pain, or there is a more serious underlying issue, minimally invasive spine surgery may be the best path for treatment.

Note: This is part of our ongoing blog series that focuses on spine conditions and sports. Take a look at our previous blog about spine conditions and golf.


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