The publicity surrounding concussions in football has shed light on the damage that contact sports can cause, including spinal cord injuries.
But there are still some truths about spinal cord injuries (SCIs) in athletes that the public doesn’t know, and in this case, what you don’t know could impact you or someone you love in a negative way.
Let’s take a look at several hidden truths related to SCIs and athletes.
Spinal Cord Injuries Do Not Always Cause Paralysis
We’ve all seen images of athletes who suffer career-ending SCIs that leave them paralyzed, but the truth is, not all SCIs cause paralysis.
In fact, several high-profile athletes have damaged their spinal cords and been advised by doctors to retire to prevent a hit that would cause paralysis.
This is primarily because there are two types of SCIs: complete and
Complete SCIs occur when an athlete fully severs the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis. Although some movement may be regained through therapy, the paralysis is typically permanent.
Incomplete SCIs occur when an athlete partially severs the spinal cord, which often means the athlete still has some motor function.
Sixty percent of SCIs in the U.S. are categorized as incomplete, and that’s largely because of increasing awareness by first-responders not to move the body of a person who has suffered this type of injury.
Technique Is More Important Than Equipment
While it’s true that wearing safer helmets when playing a sport – such as football – can help lower the chances of an SCI, the truth is that in football, as well as sports such as wrestling and mixed martial arts, proper technique is even more important.
In football, players who tackle with their head down have a far greater chance of a helmet-to-helmet collision that can damage their spine.
That’s why the ‘Heads Up’ tackling campaign has stressed that football players should always tackle with their heads up, bringing opposing players down with their arms and chest, instead of their heads.
The same thing holds true in wrestling and in mixed martial arts, as competitors must keep their heads up as they attempt a takedown, and avoid moves that would place their backs in a position where injury can occur through a rapid twisting motion.
Restoring Your Hope and Peace of Mind
Athletes in contact sports are much more vulnerable to spinal cord injuries because of the physical nature of their sport. But when an injury occurs due to the negligence of a third party, you need a personal injury law firm that understands the complexities of pursuing these types of legal claims. The team at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. has spent decades representing clients who have suffered spinal cord injuries due to negligence. Please contact us today at (856) 692-6500 for a free legal consultation.