Neck Pain

What you need to know about Sports-Related Neck Injuries

Neck Injuries
Written by Nancy

Although neck and back injuries are relatively uncommon in young athletes, they can lead to potential health complications. According to the National Health Statistics Report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 8.6 million sports and recreation-related injuries occur each year in the United States.

In absence of the right safety precautions, sports-related neck injuries can result in permanent paralysis or even death. In this article, we’ll share all you need to know about sports-related neck injuries.

The Neck and Sports Injuries

The neck is a continuation of the spine and connects the head to the rest of the body. Some necks are wide and thick whereas others are thin and long. In any case, it’s your necks job to support the weight of your head while providing enough flexibility to move around. This is made possible due to the seven vertebrae between which are disks that act as shock absorbers.

Routinely engaging in sports activities places considerable wear and tear on the ligaments and muscles of the neck. Sustaining direct blows to the shoulder or head might lead to head injuries, sprains and strains, disc and nerve damage, as well as other neck-related injuries.

Every time an athlete sustains a violent tackle or fall, the head gets pushed forward or backward and may get flung past the normal limits. If the head goes forward, it’s called hyperflexion and if it gets flung backward, it’s called hyperextension. Such sudden movements might result in torn ligaments, causing a strain or sprain.

The resulting neck injuries are often termed as a stinger or burner due to the shock-like pain that travels from the shoulder down to the arm. Other symptoms of sports-related neck injuries include:

  • Lumps on the spine or head
  • Difficulty breathing after the injury
  • Difficulty with walking and balance
  • Bowel or urinary urgency
  • Extreme pressure or pain in the head, neck, or back
  • Complete or partial loss of control over specific parts of the body
  • Loss of sensation or tingling in the fingers, feet, hand, or toes.


To prevent sports-related neck injuries from taking place, coaches and supervisors need to ensure that each athlete wears certified sports safety equipment from organizations such as ATSM. Also, contact sports should strictly be supervised at all times to minimize instances of serious injuries.

Have you or a loved one sustained a serious neck injury and are seeking medical treatment to deal with the symptoms? Divergent Health provides effective neck pain treatment in Calgary. They have experienced medical professionals that offer the highest quality services.

Get in touch with them today for more information.

About the author


I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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