University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Cervical spine pain in the competitive athlete


Krabak BJ, Kanarek SL



Publication Info:

Physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics of North America, 22(3):459-471


Cervical pain is a common complaint in both the well-conditioned athlete and the weekend warrior. Some injuries are mild in nature, responding to conservative treatment, including rest, medication, physical therapy, and time. However, more serious injuries, especially those involving the cervical spine, can have devastating consequences. Having a comprehensive understanding of the evaluation and management of cervical pain and cervical spine emergencies is crucial for physicians providing coverage for organized athletic events or for those who serve as team physicians. This article reviews the common causes of cervical spine pain in the competitive athlete.

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