Sports athletes are susceptible to spinal hyperextension – especially those playing football (linemen) as well as gymnasts because these sports involve movements where hyperextension of the spine can often occur. These injuries seem to be targeted in the lumbar region of the spine most frequently and can lead to additional complications including pain lasting for weeks.
Syndromes like Central Cord Syndrome can be found here, in Dr. Anthony Leone’s Knowledge Center.
The most common of the incomplete syndromes is central cord syndrome, which is characterized by motor weakness of the upper extremities greater than the lower extremities, in association with spinal sparing. Central cord syndrome most frequently occurs in older patients with cervical spondylosis and a hyperextension injury, but can occur in any age group or with any mechanism. The mechanism of injury involves compression of the cord during hyperextension, caused by an inward bulging of the ligamentum flavum on an already narrowed canal.¹
¹R. Vaccaro MD, Alexander. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update. Rosemont: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2005.