Football is a fun, but physically demanding, sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Unfortunately those who have scoliosis, particularly degenerative scoliosis, are putting their health and well being at risk when playing. Here's why.
Degenerative Scoliosis Can Be Caused By Injury
Scoliosis is a lateral curve in the spine that is typically caused by genetic pre-disposition. However, degenerative scoliosis can actually be caused by a serious or traumatic injury. For example, people who receive a heavy blow to the back (such as when playing a sport like football) may suffer from an onset of degenerative scoliosis.
Typically those who get degenerative scoliosis in this way already have some form of scoliosis and only develop a degenerative condition after the injury. For those who play football, it can be very easy to turn a mild case of scoliosis into one that can threaten their mobility.
How Playing Football Can Contribute To It
When a person is suffering from degenerative scoliosis, doctors suggest that they don't play high contact sports like football. But what if the person doesn't know they have this condition? Playing football is a serious risk because it can put a heavy strain on the spinal cord. For example, getting tackled and trapped under a pile of players could twist the spine in a dangerous way.
While hits like this can't cause scoliosis, they can increase the degeneration to a serious point. For example, a player with minor scoliosis could end up with severely degenerated discs and a condition that continues to get worse over time. As a result, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible.
Treating It Successfully
Managing scoliosis, particularly degenerative scoliosis that may have been worsened by a hit on the football field, must be done as soon as possible. The disc degeneration caused by degenerative scoliosis will cause a variety of serious problems, including back pain, numbness, pain down the legs, and a crooked back that can be debilitating if it is allowed to worsen over time.
Treatment will usually include a variety of pain medications, exercises to improve core flexibility and strength, short-term braces use, pain relief with nerve block injections, and surgery to correct spinal cord placement. Surgery is typically held back until the person with degenerative scoliosis has failed all other treatments or is disabled to pain and spinal imbalance.
Will a person who suffers from degenerative scoliosis ever play football again? Probably not, as the damage caused by the average hit on the field can be debilitating and even paralyzing. However, this minor setback is easy to ignore with the help of someone like C D Denison.