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NFL and Back Injuries

It’s Fall and football season is in full swing. Whether you’re die-hard about your college team or your NFL team, your Saturdays and Sundays are booked. Or maybe you are in a few different Fantasy Football leagues and monitor all your best players. But they keep getting injured so you may want to know: What are the most common back and neck football injuries?

Injuries occur during football – this is stating the obvious. In a full contact sport, there are bound to be injuries even with pads and helmets. The force of being tackled, or tackling means football players are susceptible to injury all over the body. The most common football injuries are overuse injuries, and trauma such as concussion. Knee and shoulder injuries are also common.

Lower back pain is another complaint in football players due to overuse. Back and neck injuries will either occur over time, or due to one specific traumatic incident. It is also possible that underlying conditions can cause injury or even end football careers. Cooper Manning, brother to NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli, was diagnosed with spinal stenosis at a young age and unable to play football after learning the news. Spinal stenosis is when the spinal column narrows and puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves in the spine.

Peyton Manning, current quarterback of the Denver Broncos, has gone through numerous surgeries to correct his neck and back injuries. From the age of 15 to 35, he did not miss a single football game due to injury. But over time, his neck pain and back injury worsened.

In 2010, Manning had surgery for a pinched nerve. In May 2011, he had surgery for a herniated disc. Herniated disc occurs when the jelly-like center of a disc comes out. It is also called a ruptured disc or bulging disc. A herniated disc presses on nerve roots and cause pain, numbness and weakness.

Months later, he herniated the disc again, and had another surgery to fix it. Finally, his most recent surgery was a spinal fusion to ease his neck and back pain. This was his 4th surgery in 2 years.

The spinal fusion surgery removed the damaged disc from his spinal cord, filled the space with a bone graft, and welded the vertebrae with a plate and screws. This surgery, known also as single-level anterior fusion, is something we specialize in at Microsurgical Spine Center.

If you have sports injuries or want to learn more about back pain treatments, contact us or call our dedicated Medical Concierge at 800-890-1964 to learn more or set up an appointment.

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