Are you a football player who is looking for an injured athlete specialist near Los Angeles, CA to find back or neck pain relief? If so, then you may be suffering from one of several common sports-related spine injuries. The pain and discomfort that these injuries cause can lead to a significant amount of frustration for the individual and an inability to participate in their sport. Read on to get some facts about common football-related spine injuries.
This type of injury frequently affects both football players and non-athletes. In many cases, the condition is the result of trauma. A herniated disc injury occurs when one of the spinal discs, which are cushioning structures between the vertebrae, ruptures and bulges outward. This bulging tissue can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in the back, buttocks, or limbs. Herniated disc treatment typically begins with rest, cold compresses, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatories.
Sprain and Strains
When your athletic spine doctor refers to your back pain, he may use “sprain” to describe to ligament injuries, and “strain” when talking about muscle injuries. In football players, these injuries are frequently caused by an overuse of the structures of the spine, but can also be the result of trauma, insufficient stretching, a lack of conditioning, or poor technique. With these injuries, you may notice increased pain with activity, and relief from pain when you rest. Treatment for back sprains and strains typically begins with rest and a break from athletic participation. Cold compresses, anti-inflammatories, and pain relievers may also be advised.
Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis
Another type of injury that is a frequent source of back pain for football players is called spondylolysis. This condition refers to a defect in a small segment of bone in the lower spine called the pars interarticularis . Football puts a significant amount of stress on the bones of the lower back, which can result in spondylolysis in the form of a stress fracture. Rest, anti-inflammatories, a back brace, and physical therapy are commonly used for spondylolysis treatment.
The decision to have any sort of spine surgery should not be taken lightly. All spinal surgeries at clinics in Los Angeles carry inherent risks, such as the risk of adverse reactions to the anesthesia. However, minimally invasive spine surgery is definitely a superior choice. With this approach, the spine doctor creates a few very small incisions instead of one very large incision. Specialized surgical tools are used to complete the procedure through these tiny incisions. Minimally invasive spine surgery is generally preferable for patients because the body can heal smaller incisions much more easily and quickly than a large incision.
This translates to a shorter stay in the hospital or clinic and an accelerated overall recovery time. Patients can get back to their normal daily routines more quickly. Additionally, spinal surgery performed with minimally invasive techniques typically results in less blood loss and a reduced risk of complications. There is usually less damage inflicted on the surrounding muscles and other tissues, which provides for better long-term functioning. Patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery often find that they need less pain medication, thereby reducing the risk of adverse reactions from these powerful drugs. If you’ve been told that you may need spinal surgery, consider asking your spine surgeon if you’re a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery.
For minor spinal injuries such as back strain, oral pain relievers and a brief period of rest may be all that is needed to address symptoms. In more serious cases, patients might consider undergoing spinal injections at a spine and pain center in Los Angeles. A spinal injection will deliver anti-inflammatory and numbing medications directly to the site of the injury to promote healing and bring rapid relief of your back pain. If your spine specialist determines that you could be a good candidate for spinal injections, he or she will let you know what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.
It’s important to provide your spine specialist with the full details of your medical history. Let him or her know if you’re taking any medications or supplements, particularly those that can thin the blood such as aspirin and St. John’s wort. Bring any imaging studies you’ve already had, such as X-rays or CT scans. If you haven’t yet had imaging scans performed, you may be asked to undergo some testing. You might be asked to refrain from eating or drinking anything for a period of time prior to the injection. This is for your own safety. Arrange to have someone else drive you to the spine center and back home afterwards. If your health suddenly changes before your appointment, such as if you develop a cold or other illness, inform the spine specialist. He or she may need to reschedule your injection.
When you arrive at the clinic, the doctor may place an intravenous line and monitoring equipment to keep track of your vital signs. You’ll be asked to lie on a table in a certain position. Your skin will be sterilized and numbed. Under live X-ray guidance, the doctor will place a needle in the epidural space before injecting the medicines.
If you received a sedative, you’ll be asked not to drive for at least eight hours. It’s also a good idea to have someone stay with you for the rest of the day. You should plan on taking it easy for the remainder of the day, although you can generally expect to return to work the following day. If you experience pain at the injection site, you can apply a cold pack wrapped in a towel. It can take a few days or perhaps a week to experience the full benefits of the anti-inflammatory medications.
Spinal Stenosis at a Glance
Spinal stenosis can occur in the spinal cord at the lower back or the neck. When it affects the lower back, it is called lumbar stenosis. When stenosis affects the neck, it is called cervical stenosis. Lumbar stenosis is more common, but cervical stenosis is more dangerous because it can cause compression of the upper spinal cord, potentially leading to serious problems with the nervous system. Spinal stenosis can be diagnosed and treated by a Los Angeles spinal surgeon .
Watch this video to learn more about spinal stenosis. A physical therapist discusses the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for the condition. If you suffer from spinal stenosis symptoms, you should visit a spine center near you for treatment as soon as possible.
Understanding Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a compression of the spinal cord that generally occurs in one of two regions of the spine: the cervical spine, which is in the neck, or the lumbar spine, which is in the lower back. If you’re worried you’re suffering from spinal stenosis in Los Angeles , visit a spine center for diagnosis and treatment options.
Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis include lower back pain and tingling, weakness, or numbness that radiates from the lower back to the buttocks, thighs, and legs. Cervical spinal stenosis is much more serious, as it compresses the spinal cord at a higher position, potentially affecting larger areas of the body. Symptoms can include major body and muscle weakness, numbness, and pain.
If you visit a spine center, the doctor will evaluate the severity of your symptoms and create a treatment plan. If your symptoms are mild, you can explore non-surgical treatment options first. These may include exercise, activity modification, and pain relief procedures such as epidural injections. If your symptoms are severe, you’ll be referred to a spine surgeon for surgical treatment options. These options may include cervical spine surgery or lumbar spine surgery, such as foraminotomy or laminoplasty.
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