Yankees, Mets Both Dealing With Pains In The Neck


In recent days, both New York baseball teams have been dealing with neck injuries to their key star corner infielders.

Yankee Slugger Mark Teixeira has been sidelined with what is reported to be muscle spasms. After missing a few games, he received cortisone shots, and just returned to the lineup yesterday.

Mets Captain David Wright, who has been playing with back problems due to spinal stenosis all season, is now out of the lineup due to a herniated disc in his neck.

Muscle spasms and even herniated disc in 30-something-year-olds are both very treatable and manageable conditions. When these guys are making millions of dollars and are expected to perform at an All-Star level, a quick fix may be a daunting task.

Neck muscle spasms may also be secondary to an underlying condition, such as disc herniations, joint inflammation, or shoulder injuries. If there are no signs of neurologic deficits, such as numbness, tingling down the arms, or isolated weakness, prognosis is good. X-rays, an MRI  and EMG (test to rule out a pinched nerve) need to be performed to accurately come up with a diagnosis.

Initial treatment is rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and ice, followed by stretching exercises, and in the case of disc problems, manual traction is beneficial. Trigger point injections, joint injections, and epidural steroid injections are utilized to speed up recovery.

A baseball swing requires contraction and rotation of all neck muscles. Pain from acute disc herniation and muscle spasms prevents proper mechanics of the swing.

Physical therapy, including stretching, manual techniques, and modalities, followed by strengthening should be utilized.

As we are entering June, both the Yankees and Mets need the big bats of a healthy Teixeira and Wright.

– Michael Y. Mizhiritsky, MD

NY Bone and Joint Specialists is a top rated, private Orthopedic and Sports Medicine practice in New York City. The Orthopedic Surgery, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Pain Management specialists routinely perform surgical and non-surgical treatments for professional athletes from across the United States and various other countries. Leon E. Popovitz, MD, and Michael Y. Mizhiritsky, MD, along with their team of best-in-class orthopedic physicians, are known for their exemplary orthopedic surgical skill and best-rated physical medicine and rehabilitation program. With this, along with their top in-office physical therapy and long-term sports rehabilitation processes, NY Bone and Joint Specialists work toward better overall quality of life for each and every patient.

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