What Kind of Spinal Cord Injury Is Caused?
Cervical (neck) spinal cord injuries, though infrequent, can be devastating. These most often occur when a player lowers his head or tucks his chin to his chest, causing the vertebrae (bone segments of the spinal column that surround the spinal cord) to align in a straight line, and then collides head first into either another player, boards, or goal posts. This force (called axial compression) is transmitted to the aligned vertabrae, and, with minimal force, can result in the fracture, or breaking, of one of the cervical vertabrae. when the vertabrae fractures, it can cause compression on the spinal cord, and it is this compression that results in paralysis.
It is rare that this injury occurs when the neck is in a normal or neutral position – HEADS UP!