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Injury Prevention and Education

Instruction and education of athletes, although often overlooked, remain the most crucial elements in preventing cervical spine injuries. The majority of cervical spine injuries occurring in football, as demonstrated by Torg et al.

It  happen when the athlete uses an improper tackling technique with the neck in flexion during axial loading. As mentioned previously, rule modifications have banned techniques such as “spearing”; however, a recent survey showed that football players had poor knowledge regarding the dangers of “spearing”.

A less dangerous technique encourages the player to assume a natural lordotic cervical posture such that their face mask is placed directly into the number on the opponent’s jersey. These techniques, although simple in concept, are increasingly important for preventing injuries caused by improper tackling and blocking.

Data from the ice hockey injuries have indicated checking from behind as a potential cause of cervical spine injury . Again, instruction and education in proper techniques could aid in decreasing potential scenarios that may lead to cervical spine injuries. The STOP program, as cited previously, is one example of a visual aid accompanied by an educational program to help reduce spine injuries.

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