Pelvis and spine
Hip and back are exposed to a high physical load during sports and they need a strong muscular corset.
Well-measured sports activities may prevent spine problems. The axis of the body is under enormous strain during sports and is often exposed to a risk. A particularly painful and often acute and very serious injury is the fracture of the spinal disc. Sports which are associated with rotational movements in the lower lumbar spine, may do harm to the spinal disc. Especially during golfing high forces may have an impact on the transition from the lumbar spine to the sacrum. As a result triturations of the spinal disc or small repeated cracks may occur until the spinal disc eventually breaks. This situation is generally better known as slipped disc (herniated disc).
The disc herniation does not necessarily result in severe pain right away. But the pain might be unbearable if the collagen ring of the spinal disc breaks and the viscous core puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Under excessive pressure also numbness and paralysis may occur. The pain does not necessarily be localized in the spine. If the spinal disc puts pressure on a nerve or a nerve root, the pain may be transmitted. Thus very often the knee or the ankle is in pain if pressure is put on the sciatic nerve.
An x-ray examination is used only if it is necessary to clarify quickly if there are vertebral fractures. When suspicion of a disc herniation exists, a magnetic resonance tomography will be carried out. In doing so it is possible to picture the extent of damage exactly. The height and exact localization of the affected spinal disc must be visible precisely.
During the acute phase anti-inflammatory medication or a cortisone injection may reduce the pain and loosen the cramped muscle. For a period of four to six weeks a conservative therapy (osteopathy, physiotherapy, and massages) will follow. Tensions of the muscles may be relieved and the metabolism may be stimulated. 95 percent of all slipped discs are conservative and treatable without surgical intervention. During the acute phase intensive sporting activity (and risk sports) however should be avoided. If the physiotherapy is successful, training can be started again.
Only in case of massive and treatment-resistant absence of sensation and strength an operation should be performed. Thereby the leaked part of the spinal disc will be removed and the pressure taken off the nerve. The narrowed spinal disc can either be refilled with a „replacement spinal disc“or be replaced by injection of cultivated tissue.
Of special importance is the regeneration of the intervertebral disc tissue. By stimulating the cells during the nuclear magnetic resonance therapy MBST (see also overloading defects) an increased production of the stabilizing protein collagen and therefore an improvement of the quality of the spinal disc will follow. Targeted Pilates- or muscle training also supports the regeneration of the back.
The spinal discs are the shock absorber of the spine. A regular physical exertion is necessary for the nutrient supply of the spinal disc. A targeted training which strengthens the muscles of the back and tummy is the best protection from diseases of the intervertebral discs. Sports such as tennis, golf or snowboarding are not to be considered as back-friendly. If you like such kinds of sport, you should prevent by doing regular back exercises.
Even athletes are not immune against problems in the area of the cervical spine and neck. A quick turn of the head during football, tennis or golf may result in stiffness in the neck. The subsequent relieving posture makes it even worse. Sports such as swimming breast stroke during which the head is overstretched are also harmful for the neck.
If an additional radiating pain or disturbances of sensation in the arms occurs; a disc herniation in the cervical spine may be the cause. This can only be clarified by a magnetic resonance examination.
Hot baths or sauna helps against a stiff neck. They stimulate circulation and relax the muscles. This positive effect is also achieved by using an infrared lamps or infrared cabin. ABC-plasters which are attached to the neck region also have proven helpful. Whilst deep sports massages have a disadvantageous effect, gentle and smoothing massage techniques in the neck area may ease muscle tensions. Osteopathy has also proven helpful. There is no need to avoid doing sports. But is has to be taken into consideration that intensive training could make the situation worse.
Regular stretching of the neck muscles has a preventive effect. Please check if you have a poor posture in your everyday life and during sport. A good warm-up is also important – especially in the neck and shoulder area and right before doing sports. This is particularly important when playing tennis.
Injury of the hip
Leisure athletes complain increasingly about pain in the area of the hip. This is attributed to the increasing exposure to rotational movements and jumping when doing trend sports. We can distinguish between acute injuries and overloading defects. The most common acute injuries are lacerations or avulsions of the acetabular labrum, traumatic cartilage damage or a crack of the central hip ligament. The most common overloading defects are a swelling and sensory overload of the mucosa (synovitis), a bone marrow oedema and a cartilage damage caused by abrasion.
A precise clarification of the cause for the pain is possible by taking an x-ray and an additional magnetic resonance examination. In doing so possible bone marrow oedema can be diagnosed.
An arthroscopy (joint imaging) is common in case of acute injuries of the hip joint. This is to be considered minimal-invasive for the patient. Small stitches are sufficient in order to remove the damaged tissue parts. In case of cartilage injuries of the hip an abrasion of the cartilage will be made. In case of overuse defects no surgical intervention is necessary. Particularly the magnetic resonance therapy (MBST) has proven useful (see also overuse defects). A quick regeneration of the tissue and a „repair“of cartilage damages are results of this innovative treatment. An extensive bone marrow oedema may be treated by infusions over a period of 5 days.