Playing sports is a great way to stay in shape and have fun, but there's a chance that competing in your favorite sports may actually be contributing to spinal compression. The connection here is the way that bone spurs (a major contributor to spinal compression) can be formed by competing in sports.
Understanding Bone Spurs
Bone spurs are complex problems that can occur just about anywhere in the body. However, when they occur in the spine, they contribute to a stiffening of it that can lead to a compressed spinal cord. Basically they are formed when the spinal discs in your body either age or get damaged. This causes them to lose height and to get stiffer.
As a result, the bones around these collapsing discs will begin to grow more bone around them to increase the height and protect the disc from collapse. While this temporarily solves the problem, it also narrows the spinal column and compresses it, causing severe pain.
How Sports Can Contribute
Sports can cause bone spurs in two different ways. The first is by the repetitive use of the back and spine while competing in sports. For example, bending, lifting, twisting, etc can cause the spinal cord to get worn out before its time. This is especially true if you compete in high-impact sports, such as football, that may actually cause damage to your spine.
In fact, that is the second way that bone spurs can be caused by sports. Traumatic injuries (such as impact to the back or fractures in bones) will cause your body to try to compensate with new bone growths. These spurs will compress your spine, make it more difficult for you to compete, and cause painful spinal compression.
Managing Spinal Bone Spurs
Bone spurs can usually be managed with anti-inflammatory medicines and muscle relaxant treatments, but that doesn't mean that they go away. These treatments just manage the symptoms of the disease, not actually eliminate it. This may make it hard or nearly impossible for you to get back to your favorite sport, especially if it contributed to your bone spurs.
Rehabilitation therapy is another way you can restore flexibility and strength to the damaged area by focusing on rebuilding your strength and avoiding damage to these delicate areas. Treatments like this can help eliminate the pain that comes with bone spurs while participating in sports, though more serious treatments, such as cortisone epidural steroid injections, are more likely to help.
That said, only a surgical treatment can completely eliminate bone spurs from your body. If you are a serious competitor (either on an amateur league or even semi-pro), you may need to talk to a spinal compression surgeon to find out how you can alleviate your bone spur-influenced spinal compression pain. Otherwise, you may not compete again.
Contact a company like Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates to learn more.