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Spine injuries among athletes are more common than you know, especially in sports like mixed martial arts, wresting, football, and other extreme sports. At your local spine care clinic in Jacksonville, FL, you’ll see many people getting treatment for spinal injuries. As important as it is to learn as much as possible about spine injuries, it’s also important to dispel myths, especially if you participate in a sport that’s prone to these injuries. Learn more about these 4 spine injury myths.

1 – Spine Injuries Don’t Happen in Professional Sports

Just because you’re at the pro level doesn’t mean you’re immune to spinal injuries. In fact, professional sports have a high incidence of back, neck, and spine injuries because of the high-energy, high-impact nature of the sport. As mentioned earlier, some sports are more prone to these injuries. However, even if you don’t engage any of the sports traditionally known for spine injuries, you still need to protect your spine.

2 – A Spinal Injury Means You’ve Injured the Spinal Cord

This isn’t always the case. People often believe that spine injuries automatically lead to some form of paralysis. While that’s true in some instances, that’s not the case across the board. The spinal structure is supported by ligaments and muscles. These parts of the spine can be injured or strained during sports play and result in what a spine care doctor would consider a spinal injury. While neck (cervical) and middle (thoracic) injuries affect spinal health, the most common injuries that affect the spin occur in lumbar or lower back region. For example, a herniated disc is a common spinal injury that is treated at a spine care center. Normal symptoms of a herniated disc include weakness and pain in the area, but rarely does true paralysis occur.

3 – It’s Safe to Play with Back Pain

Athletes who continue to play with chronic or sudden and severe back pain are putting their spinal health at risk. Physicians and sports therapy doctors who perform spine care in Jacksonville, FL, advise athletes to give their bodies time to rest and heal. Coaches who genuinely care about their athletes would never risk their spinal health. It’s never okay to play with back pain. Doing so can make the problem much worse and even lead to serious injury that ends professional careers.

4 – Only Training and Technique Protects against Spinal Injuries

Absolutely not so! Ask any physician or therapist who offers spine care and they will tell you that the proper training and technique is only one part of protecting your spinal health. First and foremost, athletes who play extreme sports need the right equipment. Equipment that is ill-fitted, damaged, or otherwise in disrepair is doing a disservice to your body. If you’re not properly protected, it doesn’t matter how good your technique or training may be.

If you have questions about spinal health, contact Southeast Orthopedic Specialists today.

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