All the parts of this skeletal structure, from the lumbar in the lower back to the cervical system in the neck, are sources of strength and mobility for the body. Adversely, these areas can be the greatest sources of pain in the body. Sport-related injuries are not only for professional athletes. Spine and orthopedic surgery serve people who want to improve their exercise program, and for those with disabilities who want to increase their mobility and capability. Here is what you need to know about sports and spine health.
Sports-related injuries can take you out of the game
For athletes and exercise enthusiasts, the spine can see a lot of wear and tear. Sports-related injuries can not only put you on the bench, but they can severely impact your quality of life. Some of these injuries can eventually lead to complete degeneration of normal functioning for joints. If an individual is consistently active in life, they may find some of these conditions debilitating.
Most of the serious injuries you will see in the spine are caused by a forceful impact, especially in the world of sports. Whether it is a hard tackle in full-contact football or the repeated impact of feet on the pavement in long distance running, the spine feels it. Experts say the most common form of sports-related injuries they see include:
Other injuries and conditions related to the spine are congenital, meaning they’ve been present since birth. Postural conditions also play a part and can be an indication of a more serious spinal injury.
Making a game plan
Many spinal injuries don’t only cause back pain. These conditions can also have adverse effects on other parts of the body. Other symptoms frequently experienced as a result of a sports-related spinal injury include:
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of motor skills
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness in other body parts
Doctors may recommend diagnostic testing, such as a neurological evaluation, CT scans, X-Rays or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans. Once a spine or orthopedic surgeon has the information to make a thorough diagnosis, the physician can explain to the patient what options are available, and explore any possible risks involved in treatment.
Can you make use of medications?
One of the conservative treatments a surgeon may recommend for spinal injuries is prescription medications. These experts can assess the severity of an injury or illness related to the spine and guide the patient through the optimal treatment options. Typically a specialist will emphasize a program of prevention. Sometimes, the best plan for treating the spine can include anti-inflammatory medications, moderate pain medications or even steroid injections but more serious injuries surgery may be required.
MVPs of sports injuries
For those who participate in sports and exercise regularly, injuries are inevitable. Depending on the nature of an injury, an orthopedist may suggest the least invasive treatment available. The MVPs of sports injuries are specialists who can minimize downtime. With minimally invasive surgery, healing and recovery time is significantly shorter than traditional surgeries. Doctors suggest that if you sustain a significant injury during exercise or sports, it is typically best to seek immediate treatment and evaluation.