DAVE WATTS, MD
Spine and Neck Injury
The spine is considered as one of the most complex parts of the human body. The spine performs multiple functions in our body, providing us with agility, strength, and structure. The ability of the spine to help provide for mobility support makes it susceptible to injuries.
Injury to the spine can affect any of the body parts because of the central nervous system passing through it. A spine injury can trigger different types of problems resulting in range of symptoms.
Some of the commonly associated spine injury problems include sciatica, herniated discs, and scoliosis among others. If you are experiencing any of these spine-related symptoms, you need to get in touch with your doctor immediately.
The back pain may be confined to one part of the body. In other cases, back pain can spread to other areas of the body like arms, hands, legs, upper back, or lower back. Besides pain, you may also become numb, weak, or feel a tingling sensation in arm or legs.
Athletes also face back pain while performing in sports like soccer, running, golf, basketball or skiing. These and some other sports are more extreme, putting extra pressure on the spine. This results in stressful twisting and turning, straining of the spine and injuries.
Sports related back pain includes the following.
Herniated nucleus pulposus. This type of injury is inflicted when the inner core of the disc is pushed to the outer harder layer of the disc. It can cause a bulge and serious pain on the surrounding area nerves. This herniated disc may press on a spinal nerve, causing severe back pain.
This condition occurs because of slipping off the forward over the other or due to displacement of vertebra.
This kind of injury is common among sports athletes involving hyperextension of the lumbar spine.
Musculoligamentous strain. It is one of the most commonly associated back injury resulting due to injury of the soft tissues around spine.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TREATMENTS AVAILABLE FOR SPINE RELATED INJURIES INCLUDE:
The use of different types of heat or cold paths, separately or in combination applied to the affected area.
Use of the sleeping pillow between the knees while lying on one side or placing the pillow under the knees.
Do different types of exercises to strengthen the back and trunk muscles.
Administering of different anti-inflammatory medications as recommended by the physician.
The neck muscle is under continues strain, carrying the head over the shoulders. Unlike spine, the neck has minimal protection against different types of injuries. These are the reasons why Neck is considered more prone to injuries.
The damage to the soft tissues in the neck are one of the most common reasons for injuries. Sometimes the prolonged wear and tear is the cause. There can be a number of disorders responsible for neck related injuries. Contact sports or traumatic falls or accidents can be a big reason for severe injury to the neck. Other less common causes of neck injury may include tumors, infections, or vertebrae’s congenital abnormalities.
Here are some of the common neck related injuries.
Degenerative Disc Disease
The degenerative disc disease refers to the deteriorating of the disc between vertebrate. Common reason for this problem is aging because of the loss of elasticity and flexibility in neck muscles.
In this particular problem the spinal canal protecting the spinal cord shrinks. The pain resulting due to this medical condition can radiate to arms and hands.
This issue arises due to degeneration of the cartilage and bones in the neck. The pain resulting from this medical condition radiates to arms or shoulders, and it may stiffen the neck muscles.
Cervical disc herniation
A cervical disc herniation occurs when soft fibrous tissues get ruptured. Two of the common reasons behind this problem include aging or a traumatic injury to the spine.
It is an attack by the body’s auto-immune system to issues, organs or joints. This kind of problem usually occurs in the upper neck area.
There are different ways of ascertaining the type of problem faced by the patient including X-rays, blood tests, MRI scans, and CT scans.
Here are some of the ways you can apply which may help reduce pain in the neck.
Try reducing unnecessary stress on the neck using relaxation exercises.
Use stretching exercises to help reduce stress to the neck muscles after an exhaustive session at the gym.
Try using a headset if you need to be on the phone for long.
Keep your neck straight while sleeping by using a pillow.
Use helmet when riding a bike.
Always wear a seatbelt when driving a car.