Signs of a Spine Injury

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School is back in session, which means sports are gearing up. Fall sports such as football and basketball are in full gear while spring sports, such as soccer and baseball, are beginning practice. Whether you cheerlead, play football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, hockey, or more, there is one thing all sports have in common: the possibility of an injury. Read on to learn the signs of a spine injury.

Sports are the second largest cause for spine related injuries in the United States for people under the age of 30, with football and cheerleading related injuries being the most common. Although you hope and pray that you finish the season injury free, in the occasion that any injury does occur it is important to know the signs of a spine injury.

Spine Injury Symptoms to be aware of include:

  • Loss of sensation, such as not being able to distinguish when the area is touched and not being able to feel heat and cold when applied to the area.
  • Inability or loss of movement and mobility
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Inability to control bowels or bladder
  • Muscle spasms or exaggerated reflexes
  • Intense stinging sensation
  • Difficulty coughing or clearing lungs

You may experience one or any combination of the symptoms listed. If you suspect you have a spine injury, even if no symptoms are currently present, it is best to consult an expert immediately for evaluation. In some cases, symptoms such as numbness may develop over time. A series of tests will be performed to determine the neurological level and severity of your injury.

In some cases, the injury may be severe enough to constitute an emergency. Below are signs to seek help immediately.

Emergency Spine Injury Symptoms:

  • Severe back pain
  • Twisted neck or back
  • Extreme pressure in neck, back or head
  • Paralysis or weakness
  • Inability to control bowels or bladder
  • Difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Numbness, tingling, or inability to feel in your extremities (hands, fingers, feet, toes)

If you experience any of the symptoms above, it is best to call 911 or contact a doctor immediately. These are signs that an emergency situation may be occurring. Do not attempt to move and remain as still as possible to prevent further injury.

Learn More about the Signs of a Spine Injury

If you need evaluation from a spine expert, EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region has you covered. Our team of highly knowledgeable physicians and surgeons are experts in the field of sports related spine injuries. EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region provides detailed information regarding spinal surgery and back pain.

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