Sports Safety 101: How to Prevent Neck Pain

neck painYour neck is one of the most crucial parts of the body. Your neck, after all, is responsible for connecting the head to the rest of the body. Unfortunately, it is likewise delicate and easy to damage.

Think about this: Your neck is a thin pedestal responsible for carrying your head, which could be about up to 20 pounds heavy, so it’s not truly surprising that neck pain is one of the most common symptoms of sports injuries.

Fortunately, as Michael J. Carlson, MD and other sports injury doctors in Provo explain, taking safety measures and proper precautions can help prevent neck injuries. Here are some basic tips:

Always warm up

Aside from stretching, it’s vital that you warm up before playing any sport, even if you’re just practicing. You should include some kind of aerobic exercise to get your blood flowing and warmed up.

​Don’t play around water

Never dive into the water if the depth is less than 12 feet or if you’re unsure about the depth. Likewise, never mix swimming or any water activities or sports with alcohol.

Always safeguard your head by wearing the right headgear

When playing sports, safety should trump fashion every single time. That said, your headgear should fit your head perfectly.

Determine the most suitable sports activity for your specific circumstances, as some sports might be better suited for you than others

This is especially true if you have underlying health issues that concern your neck, like a herniated disk or arthritis. For instance, if you have a disk issue, you might have a difficult time playing golf. If you have cervical spine arthritis, you should refrain from playing basketball, volleyball, or other sports that require you to always look upwards.

If you’ve taken the necessary steps to safeguard your neck, but still find yourself suffering from neck pain, you’d be glad to know that over 90% of neck pain cases (particularly due to sports injuries) could be treated with ample rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy.

If you feel neck pain accompanied by weakness, dizziness, tingling, or numbness, you might have a nerve or disk issue that requires treatment. Likewise, if your neck pain radiates into your shoulder or arm when moving, you need to rest and avoid playing sports for a while. By following your doctor’s orders and getting proper treatment, you could avoid making your neck pain worse or developing a neck injury.