Football is one of the roughest, toughest sports and it attracts thousands of youngsters each fall. Unfortunately, the thrills it generates for spectators are often accompanied by injuries to the participants.
I’m as big a football fan as the next guy, maybe more so, but my interest in the game goes beyond competition when there is an injury in a game, or the possibility that one has occurred. Concussions in football have been a hot topic in the news lately and rightfully so. In the past concussions were often overlooked or not taken seriously. Studies now show how wrong this was.
The problem is the seriousness of many “minor” injuries are often minimized. Any injury on the football field is very often the same type as that received in an auto crash. The body is struck or badly jarred, and the bones in the neck or back can be misplaced, or sometimes fractured. When this occurs in an arm or leg, the fractured bone is set and nature heals the break with time. But not so easily detected and far more threatening is a misplaced or damaged vertebra in the spinal column.
If one or more of the vertebrae is even slightly out of line, it can mean pressure on the nerves inside the spine and actual partial or complete of a vital organ or any of the body’s muscles. Many times hits during a football game can cause whiplash much more severe than those received in an auto accident. This can mean permanent spinal curvature later, which shows up with startling clearness on X-ray in many patients.
No football injury should be forgotten until after competent examination and consultation. Too often symptoms such as headaches or digestive disturbances come later and without apparent cause as a result of unattended neck or back injury.
Football is a part of an American tradition from JFL to the NFL and it is certainly here to stay. Injuries are also here to stay, so remember if you or your child is playing football and just gets “his bell rung”, have them get a complete Chiropractic exam before the injury is forgotten and problems occur.