Course

Cervical spine

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16 Lessons

The cervical spine is the most mobile segment of the spine and is predisposed to complaints brought about by wear-and-tear phenomena. Scientific studies show that around one third of the adult population suffers from neck problems, even though these problems do not always require treatment. Pain may be related to the cervical discs, zygoapophyseal and uncovertebral joints, ligaments, muscles and neural structures.

The comparatively large range of motion of the cervical spine and the orientation of the zygapophyseal joints can lead to overuse or, as a result of repetitive minor injuries, to acceleration of degenerative changes/osteoarthritis.

It has been established that the intervertebral discs in the cervical spine show degenerative changes in the third decade of life that might lead to a restricted range of motion and, more importantly, motion-induced pain. In particular, for football players who might be inappropriately heading the ball, an asymmetrical load on the cervical spine could also result in the early onset of degenerative changes in the intervertebral joints and discs.

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Tasks

  • Review the provided text and media content
  • Read the provided articles
  • Complete the case-based assessment task

Learning outcomes

By the end of this topic, you should:

  • be aware of the major causes of cervical spine pain in football
  • be able to diagnose cervical spine injuries by taking an appropriate history, examination and order an appropriate investigation (where needed)
  • understand and be able to implement an appropriate conservative treatment and rehabilitation programme to treat cervical injuries and disorders in football players
  • understand the potential sequelae following cervical injuries and their treatment
  • have an understanding regarding the effectiveness and implementation of injury prevention programmes

References

  1. Bovim G., Schrader H., Sand T. Neck pain in the general population. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1994;19(12):1307-1309.
  2. Cote P., Cassidy J.D., Carroll L. The Saskatchewan health and back pain survey: the Prevalence of Neck Pain and Related Disability in Saskatchewan Adults. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1998;23(15):1689-1698.
  3. Fuller C.W., Junge A., Dvorak J. A Six-Year Prospective Study of the Incidence and Causes of Head and Neck Injuries in International Football. Br J Sports Med. 2005;39 Suppl 1:i3-9.
  4. Shannon B., Klimkiewicz J.J. Cervical Burners in the Athlete. Clin Sports Med. 2002;21(1):29-35, vi.
  5. Davis G., Ugokwe K., Roger E.P. et al. Clinics in Neurology and Neurosurgery of Sport: Asymptomatic Cervical Canal Stenosis and Transient Quadriparesis. Br J Sports Med. 2009;43(14):1154-1158.
  6. Penning L. Some Aspects of Plain Radiography of the Cervical Spine in Chronic Myelopathy. Neurology. 1962;12:513-519.
  7. Allen C.R., Kang J.D. Transient Quadriparesis in the Athlete. Clin Sports Med. 2002;21(1):15-27.
  8. White C.C., 4th, Domeier R.M., Millin M.G., Standards and Clinical Practice Committee, National Association of EMS Physicians. EMS Spinal Precautions and the Use of the Long Backboard – resource document to the position statement of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the American College of Surgeons Committee on trauma. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2014;18(2):306-314.
  9. Silvers-Granelli H., Mandelbaum B., Adeniji O. et al. Efficacy of the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program in the Collegiate Male Soccer Player. Am J Sports Med. 2015;43(11):2628-2637.