My Broken Neck
This is my X-RAY immediately after my football accident in 2009. My entire cervical spine, made up of 7 vertebra with intervertebral discs in between, is curving the wrong way - towards the spinal cord. This is called kyphosis (the proper "C"shaped curve for a healthy cervical spine is called lordosis). The danger with a kyphotic misalignment is that it can put pressure on and damage the spinal cord - which leads to paralysis and a whole host of serious, irreversible problems. It also places immense pressure on the nerve roots located in the spinal column, causing radiating pain and loss of function in the extremities.
I was allowed to leave the hospital with what was diagnosed as a severe neck sprain and prominent but "stable" kyphotic misalignment. In actuality, along with the dangerous degenerative kyphosis, I had fractured my C4 vertebra, ruptured at least one spinal ligament and herniated/compressed three discs, with damage and narrowing (called stenosis) along my entire c-spine.
You may find it hard to believe that I was released with such a serious injury being undiagnosed, but it is happening to people all over the world. Spinal injuries that don't result in immediate paralysis or nerve dysfunction are often under diagnosed. I hold no bitterness about this and I am sharing this information only because I hope it can help others ask the right questions and find answers sooner than I was able to. It is a miracle that I was able to walk and move after my injury, and it is an even bigger miracle that I was not paralyzed in the coming years.
If your spine is bothering you and affecting your quality of life, whether from an accident or from natural deterioration- please take my advice and push for more diagnostic tests such as X-RAYS, CT's and MRI's. Medications, pain pills and injections will NOT solve your problem. Chances are great that you will not require any surgery, or at least surgery to the level I needed, but if you do, the sooner you get it done, the less invasive it has to be. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, it is my passion to help others who are suffering without an answer.