Treating Spear Tackler’s Spine

Spear tackler’s spine is an injury to the portion of the spine just below the head (cervical spine). The name is derived from a football injury where two or more players run into each other using their heads on impact. The condition causes a narrowing of the spinal cord canal and can be very serious if not treated immediately.
ONE Brain and Spine Center physicians treat patients with numerous athletic conditions including spear tackler’s spine. Dr. Burak Ozgur uses his expertise in brain and spine care to accurately diagnose and effectively treat all of his cases. Offering the best spine care to the residents of Irvine, ONE uses state-of-the-art treatment to improve the lives of all of our patients.
Typically, spear tackler’s spine is seen in patients who play football. However, spear tackler’s spine can be the cause of any contact sport involving strenuous pressure the to neck and spine. The symptoms of spear tackler’s are:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness of the neck
  • Numbness or weakness in the upper portion of the body

When an individual sustains this injury, there is a congenital narrowing of the spinal cord canal. There is also some degree of injury to the spine because of trauma. If not treated immediately, the individual could endure an irregular curvature of the spine.
To prevent spear tackler’s spine and any spine condition, athletes must follow these precautions:

  • Warm up and cool down before and after play
  • Maintain peek physical and cardiovascular fitness
  • Wear proper protective equipment (ie shoulder pads, helmet)

Immediately seek medical attention if you think you have endured an injury much like spear tackler’s spine. Conservative treatments, much like what ONE would initially recommend, may help ease pain and soreness. The following treatments are appropriate for such an injury:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (ie aspirin, ibuprofen)
  • Heat and cold compresses
  • Range of motion exercises

If pain does not dissipate soon after the injury, call a doctor for further care. ONE Brain and Spine physicians will evaluate your injury and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. The following link includes some exercises that may help pain from a spear tackler’s spine injury: http://www.sw.org/HealthLibrary?page=Spear%20Tackler%27s%20Spine%20with%20Rehab-SportsMed.
ONE Brain & Spine Center is the premier spine and brain center in Irvine, California, offering minimally invasive spine surgeries and minimally invasive orthopedic surgeries. For more information or to make an appointment, please call (949) 383-4190.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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