Module 12: Spine injuries prevention

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“This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein”

 

Spine injuries in soccer – Prevention Strategies

 

 

Upon completion of this module the reader will be able to:

  • Understand basic anatomy of the trunk.
  • Understand trunk injury epidemiology in soccer
  • Understand the mechanisms for spine injury in soccer
  • Determine common risk factors that can lead to spine injury pain.
  • Incorporate exercises to prevent spine injury

Review the «Anatomy and Function of the spine» topic and the «Injury prevention strategies» topic first. Read the description of “The spine injuries in soccer – Prevention strategies” and the corresponding presentation and then follow the proposed videos for some ideas of “Spine injury prevention exercises”. End the session with the “Bibliography and the additional learning materials” and assess your understanding with the “Spine injuries in soccer” quiz.

Τhe proposed preventive strategies for knee injuries include four phases and they propose specific preventive exercises :

   Phase IMuscular conditioning to restore dysfunctional movement patterns that can impede performance

  1a. Inhibition: Inhibit through foam rolling the over-activate muscles: adductors, Tensor fasciae latae &    Iliotibial band, and hamstrings.

  1b.Muscle lengthen: Specific lengthening exercises with static or neuromuscular stretches for   adductors, Tensor fasciae latae & IT-band, and hamstrings.

   Phase IIMuscular performance: Modifying strength and conditioning movements 

  Specific activation exercises through strengthening exercises or positional stabilization exercises for the abductors, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus. Core strength.

  Phase III:  Functional exercise: Building efficient movement patterns 

   Starting with proper athletic position, always warm up before playing, perform different Squats and Walking Lunges. Do   balance, agility-changing direction and jumping and landing exercises.

Spine injuries in soccer  – Prevention Strategies

Injury epidemiology

Injuries to the spine are very common, but sometimes are they diagnosed late on in the course, which causes long-standing morbidity and inability to exercise. Of special importance is the concurrent injuries of the cervical spine and brain, which happen due to the close anatomical proximity and connection. The main concern with injuries of the spine is the possibility and sequelae of neuronal tissue injury (e.g. paraplegia or tetraplegia) or concomitant injury to the brain in cases of cervical spine injury (i.e. traumatic brain injury of any form).

Nearly 15% of all spine injuries occur in sport-related activities, making sports the fourth most common mechanism behind motor vehicle collisions, violence, and falls. Up to 10% of all cervical spine injuries happen in sports. The sports associated with the highest rates of spine injuries include football, ice hockey, wrestling, driving, skiing, snowboarding, rugby, cheerleading and baseball. It has been estimated that cervical spine injuries occur in 10% to 15% of American football players, most commonly in linemen, defensive ends, and linebackers. Spine injuries are common in elite soccer players. Soccer is a contact sport in which heading, kicking as well as hyperextension, hyperflexion, and rotational repetitive movements place players at risk of overuse and acute spine injuries. Prevention and training are critical to avoid long-lasting injuries.

Mechanisms of injury

One way of categorizing the mechanism of injury to the spine is through the causal factor. Non-traumatic mechanisms of injury include overuse and overload injuries to the bone, ligaments, muscle, disc or neuronal elements. Traumatic mechanisms of injury include direct impact or indirect injuries again to all tissues that make up the spine. Muscle injuries are very frequent, and so are bone injuries (e.g. spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis) and disc injuries (disc prolapse). A special type of injury that needs to be commended on is the whiplash-type injury of cervical or lumbar spine following either direct or indirect impact mechanisms of injury. This type of injury may result in bone, joint, ligament, muscle, disc and neuronal tissue long-term histological and clinical sequelae.  The most catastrophic type of injury that may be encountered in sports is paraplegia following an injury to the thoracic or cervical spinal cord, or tetraplegia following an injury to the cervical spinal cord.

 

 

Spine injuries in soccer  prevention exercises based on previous phases:

Phase I : Muscular conditioning to restore dysfunctional movement patterns that can impede performance

 

 

Phase ΙI : Muscular performance – Modifying strength and conditioning movements patterns

 

 

Phase III: Functional exercise – Building efficient movement patterns

 

 

Bibliography and the additional learning materials

 
  • Stretch your cervical and lumbar muscles on daily basis.
  • Strengthen your trunk extensors and flexors as part of your strengthening program
  • Perform regular core stability exercises
  • Practice correct posture and balance, especially in the pre-season and breaks
  • Ammar Al-Kashmiri and J Scott Delaney. Head and neck injuries in football (soccer). Trauma 2006; 8: 189–195
  • Kleeman LT, et al. Cervical Spine Injuries In Sports. The Duke Orthopaedic Journal 2015; 5(1): 58-62
  • Thoracic Spine Sports-Related Injuries. Current Sports Medicine Reports 2015; 14(1): 34-40
  • Plais L, et al. Spine Injuries in Soccer. Current Sports Medicine Reports: 2019; 18(10): 367–373

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Quiz module 12

Spine injuries prevention

1 / 9

The internal oblique abdominis:

2 / 9

The transversus abdominis:

3 / 9

Spine injuries in sports are nearly:

4 / 9

Soccer movements that injure the spine include:

5 / 9

Non-traumatic spine injuries include:

6 / 9

Traumatic spine injuries include:

7 / 9

A Phase 1 exercise of spine injury prevention is:

8 / 9

A Phase 2 exercise of spine injury prevention is:

9 / 9

A Phase 3 exercise of spine injury prevention is:

Your score is

The average score is 0%

0%

Erasmus+

“This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”