Common Sports Injuries That Affect the Spine
Athletes demand a lot from their bodies in every training session, practice, and game. Through added physical stress, athletes at all levels may suffer from injuries to the spine that cause serious pain and discomfort. While spine injuries can keep you off the field, you can speed up your recovery by consulting an orthopedic physician specializing in sports medicine and spine surgery in Los Angeles. With the right care, you can receive an accurate diagnosis and care that will promote a successful return to the game following the common conditions discussed below. When
surgery is necessary, minimally-invasive procedures will ensure a faster return to play with optimal strength and mobility.
Heavy lifting, sudden twisting, and impact injuries can lead to disc injuries in which one of the spinal discs move out of place or bulges outward. Disc injuries in the lower spine might improve while lying down or bending over, since the positions take pressure off the spinal nerves from the protruding disc. A herniated or slipped disc may be treated with a variety of modalities—including chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, and spinal decompression.
Muscle and ligament sprains
There are many muscles that directly surround and support the spine as well as a number of connective tissues like ligaments and tendons. Overstretching these tissues through repetitive motions, poor posture, or lack of conditioning might lead to pain and stiffness that will respond positively to a guided exercise program following sufficient rest.
A pinched nerve or stinger is an injury in which one of the nerves in the neck or shoulder is compressed or overstretched. This injury is characterized by painful shooting sensations in one of the arms, which is often only temporary. Because symptoms can clear up spontaneously, athletes may neglect proper treatment, thus risking a recurring injury.
What to Do about a Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve is caused when pressure results in compression of a nerve. It can result in pain in the lower back, neck, shoulder, or arm. The pain can even radiate to the leg and foot. If you think that you’re suffering from a pinched nerve in Los Angeles , visit a spine center near you for treatment options.
Watch this video for more information on what you can do to treat a pinched nerve. If left untreated, a pinched nerve can cause more serious problems. Treatment for pinched nerves varies, but may include medications, physical therapy, or surgery.
What Causes a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc, or a slipped or ruptured disc, can occur in any part of the spine. The vertebrae in your spine are protected by spongy discs that allow the spine to be flexible and act as shock absorbers. If a disc is damaged, it may bulge, or even break open. This can result in pain, weakness, and chronic conditions, such as sciatica. If you suspect you may be suffering from a herniated disc near Los Angeles , continue reading.
Normal Wear and Tear
The discs in the vertebrae of your spine can lose moisture as you age. This causes them to become less flexible, making you more prone to injury as you go about your normal life. Aging also means that your spine and discs have been subjected to a lengthy period of stress and use throughout your life. This can add up over time and lead to damage to your spine and discs. It is important to have regular checkups as you age, and if you suspect you may need spine care, visit a spine center near you.
Trauma to the back or spine can cause a herniated disc. If you have fallen, gotten into a car accident, or suffered a blow to the back, pay attention to any pain or discomfort you have after the trauma. Spinal injuries can cause the hard outer layer of a disc to crack or break, causing the gel-like fluid inside the disc to seep out. If you notice pain, numbness, or weakness in your back or limbs after a trauma to your spine, visit a spine center immediately to prevent further injury or damage to your spine.
Excessive Stress to the Spine
Lifting a heavy object using improper form can cause injury to the spine; for instance, lifting with your back instead of your legs or twisting to the side while you lift can result in disc herniation. Subjecting your spine to stress over a long period of time can also cause this type of injury.
Stress Fractures in the Spine
A stress fracture can occur in the spine due to excessive or aggressive exercise, often when playing sports. Stress fractures are commonly seen in athletes who play football or participate in gymnastics, javelin throwing, or weightlifting. An athlete with persistent back pain may be given a bone scan, X-ray, or MRI to determine if he or she is suffering from a stress fracture. If you’re suffering from a stress fracture in Los Angeles , continue reading for more information.
The first treatment method that a spine center will recommend for a stress fracture in the spine is rest. You will be encouraged to cease strenuous activity and to perform certain stretching exercises to ease your pain. Your doctor may advise you to take ibuprofen or another type of medication for your pain.
If conservative treatment fails, your spinal surgeon may recommend spine surgery. Your surgeon may insert a screw across part of your vertebrae, and use a bone graft to aid in healing. As there are a few different spinal surgery techniques that may be used to treat stress fractures, your spinal surgeon will explain each procedure thoroughly to help you make a decision.
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