Muscles, Bones and Joints Injuries Los Angeles Valley College Physical Education and Health Department Patty Melody, M.A. Health 12 First Aid and Safety Education Spring 2007
Disclaimer This wellness seminar is not intended to substitute a consultation by your doctor. If you have been experiencing any neck or back problems you should seek advice from a physician immediately. Also, if you are starting an exercise program consult with a health care provider before beginning your program.
Defined as damage to the spine or to its supporting structures that house and protect the spinal cord. This can result in mild fatigue or a dull ache or could be more serious. A physician should always be consulted for a diagnosis or referral.
The Spine : 33 oddly shaped bones called vertebrae (divided into 4 naturally curved sections)
1) Cervical (7)
2) Thoracic (12)
3) Lumbar (5)
4) Sacrum and Coccyx (9)
Your Back Anatomy is responsible for various functions :
Cervical (7) – supports the neck, tilts, bends and turns the head
Thoracic (12) – supports the mid-back, ribs and is limited in flexibility
Lumbar (5) – supports the lower back and carries most of the body weight. Under constant stress when you sit, stand and to some extent when you lay down on your back.
Sacrum and Coccyx (9) – 5 fused vertebrae in the sacral region and 4 fused vertebrae in the coccyx region. Responsible for positioning of pelvis and therefore the rest of the spine. Can be altered by excess weight, pregnancy, lordosis or poor body mechanics.
The vertebral bones are separated from one another by intervertebral discs.
The discs provide flexibility and absorb impacts and shock.
The discs consist of two parts. The inner area is the nucleus and the outer area is called the annulus. It is described like a jelly donut.
The nucleus, or inner core of the disc, consists of a gelatinous material. The outer ring, or annulus, is the strongest portion, like a tire. When there is a rupture or herniated disc the annulus may be torn.
Signals (consciousness, pain, pressure, confusion, loss of sensation, tingling, partial or complete loss of movement, bumps, depressions on the head, neck or spine, blood or clear fluid from ears or nose, heavy external bleeding, seizures, impaired breathing or vision, nausea or vomiting, persistent headache, loss of balance, bruising of the head, especially around the eyes and behind the ears
Signals – motor vehicle crash, fall from height, report of head, neck or back pain or pressure, has tingling or weakness, is not fully alert, appears intoxicated, appears frail or over 65 years of age
Care – call 9-1-1, minimize movement of head, neck or spine (back), minimize your (the rescuer) movements of palpating the victim, gently hold the person’s head with the body, Do Not Realign the victim, maintain your ABC’s, control bleeding and keep the victim relaxed with a blanket if needed. Do not remove a bike helmet unless it is in the way of opening the victim’s airway.
Neurological Assessment Would Include the Following:
Dermatomes, Myotomes and Reflexes (sensation, strength and reactions)
Decide on further testing and outcome
Possibly prescribe physical therapy or other modalities (heat, ice, anti-inflammatories or pain-killers, RICE)
Prevention Primary prevention – Prehabilitation, Exercise, eat healthy, don’t smoke, get plenty of rest, maintain proper posture and mechanics at work or play, see your doctor for regular check ups, wear flat shoes, maintain healthy body weight, don’t lift more than you can handle, don’t reach overhead Secondary prevention – Consists of primary prevention guidelines plus the following: Consult a physician immediately, Begin early rehabilitation, take pain medications if needed and prescribed by your doctor, modify movements that are painful Tertiary prevention – Consists of primary and secondary guidelines plus the following: Continue consulting with your physician, continue with physical or occupational therapy, surgery may be given as an option