Be it contact sports or non-contact sports, athletes are prone to get injured on the field. Low back injuries and cervical injuries are common among professional, as well as amateur athletes. However, many athletes ignore these injuries, thinking that the pain will go away on its own. This approach worsens the injuries and may ruin your career. Let’s debunk certain prevalent myths about spine injuries in athletes:
1. Myth#1: Spinal Injuries Only Affect Your Spinal Cord
It’s a common misconception that a spinal injury only damages your spinal cord. However, your spinal structure is composed of vertebrae, muscles, and ligaments. Any injury to these structures also affects the health of your spine and reduces your mobility.
2. Myth#2: Spinal Injuries Don’t Occur in Pro Sports
Many people believe that spinal injuries are less likely to occur in pro sports such as hockey, football, and motocross. However, the high-energy nature of these sports often risks the well-being of athletes. For instance, a collision with other players on a football ground or fall from your motocross bike can lead to cervical injuries.
3. Myth#3: There’s Nothing Wrong with Delaying the Treatment
A severe injury usually sidelines the athlete for weeks or even months. Therefore, some professional athletes continue taking part in sports activities despite feeling back pain or neck pain. However, it does more harm than good.
When you stress your spine after an injury, it makes your condition even worse. Not only does it affect your health but also slows down the healing process. Therefore, it’s best you should see a sports medicine specialist at the earliest for the treatment.
4. Myth#4: Limbs Dysfunction isn’t Associated with Spinal Injuries
Spinal injuries are quite common in athletes. However, it’s a lesser known fact that they may also lead to arm or leg dysfunction.
Many athletes take painkillers when they feel severe pain in their limbs. However, it’s recommended you should visit an orthopedic physician. Through a series of test, they will diagnose whether a spinal injury has caused the dysfunction and suggest a treatment to help you regain your health.
5. Myth#5: Spinal Injuries Always Lead to Paralysis
It’s another common myth that if you’ve suffered a spinal injury, you will get paralyzed. It’s true that many athletes are advised to retire after a spinal injury to prevent further injuries and paralysis. But not every case of an injury leads to paralysis. Through a surgery or rehabilitation programs, you can get fit and take part in sports activities just like before.
After a spinal injury, it’s not safe to delay the treatment. Opt for a reputable sports medicine facility such as Total Orthopedics Sports & Spine to get treatment from experienced professionals. At our office, we suggest you talk to Dr. Rick Burg who is a board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeon specializing in minimally invasive spine surgery, degenerative and deformity conditions of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Dr. Burg went to the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and obtained his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. He completed his internship and residency at the University of Minnesota Department of Orthopedic Surgery. He did his fellowship in spinal surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.