Even the fittest and most active people are not immune from spine injuries. Our backs support our entire body, so sports injuries must be treated by spine doctors right away. Utmost care and expertise are critical in back injury treatment because you risk damaging the spinal cord with inadequate treatment.
Here are the most common sports injuries spine doctors treat:
Muscle And Ligament Injuries
Our spine is not just a vertebral column of bones. Several muscles and connecting structures, like tendons and ligaments, hold the spine together. These structures protect the spine and allow for movement.
Back strains, sprains, and muscle spasms are among the most common muscle injuries spine doctors treat. These injuries may occur from a single accident or overuse. A sudden blow, fall, or twist during sports activities may cause acute back injuries. Repetitive stretches and overloading of the back muscles, like improper mechanics during sports, can lead to chronic or long-term injuries.
A back strain is the stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon, the tissue connecting muscles to bones. Meanwhile, a back sprain is an injury to the ligament or tissue connecting bones to the vertebral column. These injuries may cause pain and discomfort. A spine doctor may recommend rest, pain medications, or, in severe cases, surgery for spinal pain treatment.
Fractures are broken bones along the vertebral column. Many spinal fractures usually don’t require surgery, but they need prompt and proper bone fracture treatment to avoid serious effects. Spinal fractures can occur in sports activities, especially after a fall or high impact force.
Compression fractures happen when there is a break in the front part of a vertebra. It may be due to external forces or the inability of the bones to carry heavy loads. Meanwhile, a burst fracture is a type of spinal fracture where the entire vertebral bone breaks.
Some fractures are not just due to a single high-impact event. Repetitive overuse may lead to stress fractures, which are tiny cracks along the vertebra. When an entire part of the bone tears away from the vertebral column, this results in an avulsion fracture.
Spinal discs are rubber cushions between each vertebra. These discs have a gel-like nucleus and a tough, rubbery exterior. Disc herniation happens when the gel-like cushion pushes out of the center. This injury is also known as a ruptured disc or a slipped disc.
Disc herniations can be painful because they may compress the nerves from the spinal cord. This condition may also result in numbness or weakness of the limb. Sports injuries may cause disc herniations, especially in the lower back which carries heavy loads.
Your sports injury doctor may recommend exercise and therapy to minimize pain and compression. Although, severe cases may need surgery.
Injuries To The Vertebrae
Sports accidents and repetitive trauma may also lead to other injuries in the vertebrae. One particular example of this is spondylolysis. This injury happens when there is a small crack between two spinal bones. In some cases, these bones may even slip out of place, causing another condition called spondylolisthesis. These conditions can cause severe back pain. Treatments include a combination of medications, physical therapy, and surgery.
Another possible sports injury happens when the spaces between the spine narrow. This condition is called spinal stenosis, where the nerves get squished between two spinal bones. Spinal stenosis may lead to pain and muscle weakness.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries or SCI can happen to anyone, even skilled athletes and people with a healthy lifestyle. All it takes is a direct injury to the spinal cord, the set of nerves that controls our bodily sensations and movement from the neck down. An SCI may be complete, affecting all movement and sensation. An incomplete SCI, on the other hand, occurs when you still have some motor or sensory functions intact.
Spinal cord injuries happen for all kinds of accidents, including motor vehicle accidents, gunshot and stab wounds, and even falls. For sports-related injuries, some of the most common reasons are contact and impact sports. Extreme contact sports such as football, hockey, and diving in shallow waters are just a few examples.
Spine Doctor and Sports Injury Doctor in Plantation, FL
Sports injuries can trigger a significant change in your life. They could put your healthy lifestyle on hold, sometimes even permanently. To help you recover better and faster, a sports and spine doctor can help. They specialize in treating common sports injuries we often see in sports accidents.
At Baylis and Brown Orthopedics, we are a team of expert sports injury doctors and medical professionals. We specialize in general orthopedics, sports medicine, work-related injuries, and spine care. Rest assured, we will do what it takes to help you recover from your injuries. For questions and requests for consultations, you can call us today at (954) 476-8800 or fill out our appointment request form.