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Precautions To Prevent Sports-Related Neck Injury

The neck is part of a long flexible column, known as the spinal column or backbone, that extends through most of the body. The cervical spine (neck region) consists of seven bones (C1-C7 vertebrae), which are separated from one another by intervertebral discs. These discs allow the spine to move freely and act as shock absorbers during activity. 

The spinal cord is a very vulnerable structure which connects the brain to the body and is in the middle of the cervical spine, protected by bony structures.

Various Sports can contribute to neck injuries of varying degrees of severity, including neck fractures and cervical spinal cord injuries (SCIs). A fractured (broken) neck is a very serious matter, but in many cases, the patient can make a full recovery and regain all neurological function.

Sports vs. Neck Injury 



Skateboarding/In-line Skating


General Sports

Always supervise younger children and do not let them use sporting equipment or play sports unsuitable for their age. Do not let them use playgrounds with hard surface grounds.

Do not participate in sports when are ill or very tired.

Discard and replace sporting equipment or protective gear that is damaged.

Never slide headfirst when stealing a base.

In case of injury, ensure that an emergency action plan is in place and has been reviewed by all medical personnel, administrators, coaches and players. 

Non-medical professionals should refrain from touching or moving an athlete who might have a neck or spinal injury and should never remove any helmets, pads or other equipment from an injured athlete; the team’s athletic trainer and/or other on-site medical staff will assess the injured athlete and determine whether he or she requires an ambulance.

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