Anatomy relevant to injuries

Serious injuries can occur to the vertebra (fractures or dislocations). Less serious but still significant injuries can occur to the discs, which can bulge out (prolapse) and press on nerves leaving the spinal cord and running down the limbs, giving the classical shooting type pain of “sciatica”. These nerves can also be bruised or stretched (stingers or burners) when the head is forced to one side in contact – such as making a tackle.