Common back injuries facing young athletes

Common back injuries facing young athletes

Sports are fun, but they can tax even youthful bodies. After all, the athlete is demanding that his/her body do things that are very intense and not quite natural. It’s not at all surprising that even young athletes are injured. Many of those injuries involve the back, a weak spot in human anatomy even in non-athletes. Because the back is so vulnerable, nearly every sport can lead to a back injury.

Common Back Injuries
The great majority of sports-related back injuries involve the neck or the lower back. Among them are:

Whiplash and Neck Strain
This happens when the muscles ligaments and tendons around the vertebrae in your neck are strained. One type of strain is whiplash, which happens when your head is violently jolted back and forth. This is a common back injury in collision sports such as football or martial arts. Divers can also suffer from neck strain if they hit their head on an object underwater.

If you have a neck strain, you may not feel pain right away. When the pain does appear it gradually worsens over 12 to 72 hours. You may have a headache, feel weakness in your neck and a crackling when you try to move it. Whiplash can bring pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulder. You may experience ringing in your ears, fatigue or blurry vision. Tingling or pain in the shoulder that shoots down your arm is a sign that a vertebra in your neck has been damaged.

Slipped Disc
Sports such as weight lifting put great pressure on the cushioning disks between the vertebrae. Sometimes the disk ruptures, and its contents protrude and press upon the spinal nerve’s roots and cause pain. This leads to pain in the lower back. If the pain shoots down the buttock, into your leg and down to the foot, it is called sciatica. This condition was named after the sciatic nerve, a two-branched nerve that originates in the lower part of the spine and runs down your leg.

Inflammation of Sacroiliac Joint
The sacroiliac joints are found at the back of your pelvis on either side of your spine. They connect the sacrum and the two large pelvic bones. The sacrum is the fused bones at the bottom of the spinal column.

The condition is most often caused by a fall or a blow to the buttocks that is hard enough to affect your pelvis. Sacroiliac joint inflammation can also occur during skiing, skating and collision sports. The ligaments around your pelvis can also be damaged during these accidents.

You feel pain on either side of your lower back that can spread to the buttocks, the back of your thigh or your groin. It worsens when you exercise or if you’ve been sitting in the same position for a long time. You may experience stiffness and pain when you try to roll over in bed.

If You’ve Suffered a Sports-Related Back Injury, Call Dr. Stephen Courtney
If you’re a resident of the Plano, Texas area and have suffered a sports related back injury, get in touch with Dr. Stephen Courtney. Dr. Courtney is a board-certified, state-of-the-art orthopedic spine surgeon who’s developed nine product lines, obtained nine patents and has 14 trademarks related to injuries of the spine. Call today for a consultation at 972-499-5457 or contact us here.