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Spinal Stenosis

Spinal canal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that can predispose to a greater likelihood of spinal cord injury when a major neck injury (such as a fracture) occurs. When spinal canal stenosis is causing neck pain, a player should have this treated (usually surgically) and he or she may be forced to consider retirement. Some people have evidence of spinal stenosis on imaging such as X-ray's, CTs or MRI's but have no symptoms.

Symptoms can include numbness or weakness in part of the body, neck or shoulder pain. It may be as subtle as being 'clumsy', dropping things more often or having frequent falls.

Treatment involves:
  • Exercises to build up neck and back muscle strength
  • Improving spine flexibility and stability
  • Pain medication
  • Surgery such as a laminectomy or spinal fusion in some cases
Spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis can be the cause of neck or shoulder pain