Sports Injuries To The Cervical Spine

by Administrator 18. November 2014 06:49

Most of the cervical spine injuries are related to sports activities. They usually occur due to acute strains and sprains to the muscles of the neck or the contusion of the soft-tissue in the neck. Physical examination and proper management of the condition are paramount in the successful treatment of the injured sportsperson. There are many types of sports injuries to the cervical spine and taking decision regarding the type of cervical spine injury becomes a challenge making it crucial to seek advice from a spine surgeon.

Injuries relates to cervical spine:

There are four types of injuries that can be caused to the cervical spine:

  • Nerve Root Injuries: It is the most common form of cervical spine injury and usually occurs while playing football. The main symptom of this injury is loss of function combined with pain, in one arm, following a collision. These injuries are also known as stingers or burners.
  • Acute Cervical Sprains/Strains: A sprain is a stretch or tear to the ligament whereas strain is injury to the muscles or the tendons. An athlete can suffer from strain and sprain in the neck which jams the neck and the pain remains localized to the cervical spine.
  • Cervical Fracture: These are very painful and occur when a great force is applied to the neck while playing sports or a sudden fall during sports activities. It stops the mobility of the neck and reduces its stability.
  • Cervical Spinal Stenosis: It is defined as the diminution of the diameter of the Spinal Canal near the neck followed by disc herniation. It is common to the players due to wrong exercises and postures during sports.


Cervical spine injuries can occur as a result of a number of factors:

  • Wrong postures while playing
  • Incorrect exercise
  • Lack of attention while performing exercises
  • Improper warming up
  • Traumatic injuries while playing
  • Sudden fall
  • The cervical injuries are very common in sports like ice hockey, soccer and horse riding.


Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Loss of sensation
  • Inability to move arms
  • Acute pain in the cervical spine
  • Movement enhances the pain
  • Instability in the neck


Cervical injuries require immediate and intensive care by an orthopedic surgeon. The treatment includes:

  • Medication: The patient suffering from cervical injuries should consult a back surgeon before taking any medication for the same as medication differs from patient to patient.
  • Stability: The doctors can also recommend traction to stabilize the spine and bring it back into order. Neck collar may also be required in some cases.
  • Surgery: A surgery is performed in acute cases where other methods of treatment fail to provide relief.

Dr. Burg is a Frisco, TX based spine surgeon providing diagnosis and treatment for all sports related injuries to the spine. For details, call at (214) 618-5502 or visit 5757 Warren Parkway, Suite 180, Frisco, TX 75034.

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