Sports are fertile ground for spinal injuries

Sports are fertile ground for spinal injuries

One of the most heartbreaking images imaginable is the sight of a high school football player lying on the ground after a massive hit or tackle, unable to get to his feet, or in some cases, even to move. The scene unfolds in a typical manner - the downed player is immobilized and then carted from the field on a gurney. Only later do the fans learn of his tragic spinal cord injury which may forever alter his life and mental well-being.

It's a cruel fact, according to the National Athletic Trainers Association that sports participation constitutes the second most common cause of spinal cord injuries for Americans age 30 and younger. The NATA's leadership has gone so far as to establish rigid guidelines for the quick treatment and transport of athletes who are injured on the playing field.

Meanwhile, the National Operating Committee on Standards is lauding new evidence to suggest that new limits imposed last year by Pop Warner to reduce contact during practices is having the desired effect: less exposure in practice to head and spine injuries among young football players and an end to the kind of repetitive blows that some researchers suggest can lead to long-term brain injury.

Meanwhile, Dr. William P. Meehan III, director of the Sports Concussion Clinic and the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention in the Division of Sports Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston, discussed the many factors an athlete and his or her family should consider in deciding whether to retire after multiple concussions.

Management of sport-related concussion involves a step-by-step process beginning before a sports season even starts; it mandates the three newest concussion guidelines:on-the-field evaluationsideline assessmentdiagnosis, treatment, and return to playa comprehensive review of the latest expert thinking on concussion management

Lack of proper precautions and the execution of proper procedures post-injury on the field could result in the intercession of a plaintiff's attorney to right the wrong.

Source: 
NFL.com, "MomsTeam.com Update: Trainers release spine injury guidelines" No author given, Aug. 16, 2013

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