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Which Sports Are Most Likely to Cause Neck Injuries?

Sports with a Higher Potential to Cause Neck Injury

football neck injuryThere are many sports that have the potential to cause neck injuries, but some do carry higher risks than others. The sports that put your neck at higher risk of injury include:

  • Football: This is a high-impact sport so its players are at significant risk of sustaining neck injuries, such as sprains, strains, and more severe injuries like cervical spine fractures.
  • Hockey: There are the various collisions with the boards and other players, as well as strikes by the puck that can lead to neck injuries in ice hockey, such as whiplash, strains, or cervical spine injuries.
  • Wrestling: Wrestlers are at risk of neck injuries particularly because of that part of the sport that involves grappling and throws.
  • Gymnastics: Gymnasts can sustain neck injuries when doing flips or dismounts because they may land awkwardly or hyperextend their necks.
  • Combat Sports: Sports like boxing, mixed martial arts (MMA), and karate involve striking and grappling, which can lead to neck injuries when fighters are hit or thrown.
  • Diving: In diving, accidents like hitting the water at the wrong angle can result in neck injuries, including cervical spine fractures.
  • Cheerleading: Cheerleaders can be at risk of neck injuries when performing high-flying stunts, pyramids, or tumbling routines if they land incorrectly or if they fall.
  • Equestrian Sports: Riders can experience neck injuries from falls or being thrown from a horse.

It’s important to note that the risk of neck injuries varies, depending on such factors as the level of competition, the individual’s skill and technique, protective equipment, and paying attention to the safety rules and guidelines of the different sports. Also, proper training and conditioning can help reduce the risk of neck injuries in sports.

Signs of a Serious Neck Injury

It’s also critical to become aware of the signs of what might be a serious neck injury:

  • Pain that doesn’t go away
  • Shooting pain or numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms or legs
  • Trouble with control in your bladder or bowels

When to Get Help

Should you receive a really hard hit or take a very bad fall, it’s recommended that you seek expert help right away. An X-ray, MRI, or CT scan may be needed to pinpoint the cause of the problem in the nerves, bones, and tissues of your neck.

*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery