Sports injuries related to the spine are not uncommon. Lower back injury, neck injury and upper back injury involving various parts of the spine may cause serious health issues. Sports that involve repetitive impact, twisting motion or weight lifting cause lower back injury. Sports involving contact like football may cause damage to the neck. Again activities that involve mid portion of the spine lead to upper back injury.
Some of the common types of sports injuries involving the spine are listed here:
- Muscle strains and Ligament Sprains: Improper body mechanics, inadequate stretching or athletic overuse are some causes leading to muscle strains and ligament sprains. Treatment includes medication, rest and complete withdrawal from the sports for some days. Once the pain decreases, usually physicians advise athletes to follow a specific exercise regime that is aimed to improve flexibility and reduce the risk for any similar injury.
- Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis: These types of injuries are common to sports persons like gymnasts. Activities that require twisting of the spine lead to these injuries. Special imaging studies may be required to know the stage of Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis. The orthopedic specialist or the spine surgeon may monitor the condition of the patient with spondylolithses every 6 months for progressive slippage. Athletes who have 50% or less forward slippage can resume their daily routine, once the pain resolves after rehabilitation has been completed.
- Disc injury: Disc injury among athletes, may not be as common as the previously mentioned ones. A spine specialist may advise an MRI to know if a disc is a cause for the pain. Treatment for disc injury includes injections. The patient has to go through a rehabilitation program and if his condition does not improve over time, he may need a surgery.
- Scheuermann’s Disease: This is also known as juvenile kyphosis. People experience pain in the mid back. After diagnosis, a spine specialist may advise an athlete to perform extension-based back exercises and postural exercises. Sometimes bracing can be helpful, if an athlete is able to tolerate wearing the brace. In extreme cases, correction through spine surgery remains to be the only option.
Besides these, there are some other sports injuries also like stinger. Whatever may be the type of injury, an athlete must consult the best orthopedic centre in his/her town or city to get the best results.