"The push to alleviate and do something about these injuries actually started neurosurgery back in the sixties," says Dr. John D. Reeves.
Neck and spine injuries are most common in collision sports such as football, ice hockey, and wrestling.
"The nerves, just as they exit the cervical spine form a structure called the brachial plexus. And you can imagine that brachial plexis just getting stretched like a piece of taffy and the hole arm just goes numb or dead," says Dr. Reeves. "Instead of being in this relatively protected position, that we call lordosis, gets stretched out as you hit the top of the head it will dislocate and twist."
There are now rules against spearing, coaching is different and the equipment is better in an effort to prevent these types of injuries.
Copyright 2013 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.