Are Your Workout Habits Damaging Your Spine?


Whether you actively participate in yoga, pilates, football or golf, our full bodies are being activated and utilized to produce maximum performance results. However, what many people neglect when practicing these sports is the possible damage to the spine. Haute Beauty sat down with spine and joint expert Dr. Amin Javid to discuss which sports cause the most damage to the spine and how to avoid them.


Which sports cause the most damage to the spine?

Although many sports can potentially cause damage to the spine and joints, usually impact sports or those that have a component of torsion, are the most common culprits for spinal injuries. Football and golf - yes golf - are among those sports. The “tackling” component that plays a central role in football, over time, may cause severe degeneration and/or compression injuries to the cervical spine (neck). Although the design of the modern helmet has reduced these injuries, there is nonetheless the initial impact that is absorbed by the upper spine, then distributed to the shoulders and the mid-spine.

With respect to golf (one of my personal favorite sports), it the “torsional forces” exerted upon the spine (mainly the lumbar spine) that over time may cause injury. At full-swing (follow-through), the human spine is put in a mechanically compromising position. Primarily, if one was to observe the angle of the lumbar facets, it is evident that flexion or bending over is the purpose of its design. Therefore, repeated lumbar rotation (twisting at the hip) goes against the intended anatomical function of the human spine and lends itself to various soft tissue injuries including injury to the disc.


What are the common injuries to the spine in sports?

Common injuries to the human spine that are often the result of playing sports include, but are not limited to, disc herniations, nerve compression, spinal ligament sprains, spinal tendon strains and traumatic spondylolisthesis (movement of the vertebra).


Which treatments do you have available for the above-mentioned injuries?

We often see athletes and individuals with the above-named injuries in our office. There is an array of treatment protocols and modalities that have proven effective to prevent, maintain and, in some cases, even counter those injuries.


What precautions should patients take to avoid injuries in sports?

There are various precautions that individuals should take to avoid sports-related injuries - a healthy diet, regular non-strenuous exercise and to regularly see a competent, knowledgeable and caring chiropractor for maintenance care.


How long to results last after treating spine injuries?

Treatment results vary based on several factors;  the severity of the injury as well as the patient’s age. Those things are among the most crucial factors to identify in determining the prognosis.

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