Engaging in an athletic lifestyle is a great way to keep your body and your mind in shape. Unfortunately, sports and spinal injuries occur together often. But there are still many benefits to being active. And there are ways to stay safe.

If you have experienced an injury, visit the best neurosurgeon Los Angeles has at Yashar Neurosurgery.

Benefits of Sports

In particular, sports allow us to:

  • Engage socially
  • Escape the unnatural stresses of modern life
  • Work towards goals that directly benefit us individually and collectively

The physical and mental advantages mean that sports are almost always a positive addition to your life. Or, they are as long as you follow basic safety guidelines. And maintain a healthy balance that respects any other responsibilities you may have.

The primary downside to leading an active lifestyle is the possibility of serious injury. Even if you only engage in sports casually, you need to ensure that you are stretching and properly hydrating your body before any strenuous activity. It is also beneficial to schedule a consultation or lesson with a trainer who can review your techniques and help you adjust your movements to prevent injury.

Injuries to the shoulders, knees, and ankles are common, as these are joints where the body is put under pressure as it goes through the motions required by your sport. Depending on your activity of choice, the frequency of these types of injuries can vary. Regardless of the sports you engage in, the most serious injuries are usually those that affect the spine.

The Most Common Spinal Injuries in Sports

According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, sports are the second leading cause of spinal injuries for people between the ages of 16 and 30. In fact, studies have found that 8.7% of all spinal injuries in the United States are directly related to athletic activities, which is pretty substantial given that most people only engage in sports recreationally. If you suspect that you may have sustained a spinal injury during physical activity, it will likely fit into one of the following categories.

Cervical Stingers:

A compression or over-stretching of the nerves in the neck along the spinal cord. This usually results from an impact that forces the neck in an unexpected direction and results in a radiating pain that travels down the arm.

Vertebral Stress Fractures:

Stress fractures are caused by repetitive movements that cause bone to crack along minuscule fracture lines. In the spine, this is usually the result of sports that require a twisting motion. This is why golfers and gymnasts are some of the most frequent patients to present with a vertebral stress fracture.

Herniated Discs:

During physical activity, the spine must flex repeatedly. If the muscles don’t provide enough support or the form is flawed, then the soft tissue within the vertebrae could protrude. In some cases, the herniated disc puts pressure on the surrounding nerves, resulting in a very painful condition. If this happens, seek out the best herniated disc surgery Los Angeles offers.

Pursuing Treatment

Keep an eye out for chronic pain along your spine or pain that radiates down one of your appendages. There is the possibility that you have a serious spinal injury that will require treatment before you can resume normal activities. At Yashar Neurosurgery, you’ll receive a comprehensive examination, which will allow Dr. Yashar to determine what testing will appropriately identify your condition.

Depending on your injury, there may be a chance that it will heal with time. However, if you require professional medical treatment, your neurosurgeon will develop a graduated treatment plan that resolves your injury. This may include physical therapy, pain medication, and steroid injections. However, the spine is sensitive. So, surgery is treated as a last resort that your surgeon will only recommend if other treatments fail to provide comfort and function.