Ravens' Ed Reed Continues Playing His Best Despite a Nerve Impingment in his Neck
Posted Jan 08 2009 4:37pm
American football player Ed Reed who plays for the Baltimore Ravens has been having quite the season. He is playing so well despite a nerve impingement in his neck and shoulder. This is one of the reasons Reed wore a hands-off red quarterback's jersey much of training camp and was sidelined the entire preseason.
Reed has battled through the condition to become a relentless pain in the neck to opposing quarterbacks. Reed has said that his health is very important to him, and if it means that he has to sit it out for a while, he will.
" I never doubted my ability," Reed says. " It was just a matter of playing with my injury. The pain is still there. I've just been doing a lot of treatment this year and staying focused and keeping my eyes out for any feeling that I had in training camp that would put me out.
" I haven't had that. So I just move forward with it, take it day by day."
If it comes to surgery for this nerve impingement in his neck, Reed knows that it will affect his career and he is not willing to take that risk.
A nerve impingement in the neck is a very serious medical condition. It creates extra pressure on the neck nerves- nerves that supply all the head and neck muscles. When pressure is put on a cervical nerve 3 aspects are effected: motor, sensory and reflex. Reed may feel muscle weakness on the side of nerve impingment, may have a change or loss of sensation (like numbess and tingling) and also diminished reflexes. Regardless of the pain that he is dealing with in his neck, Reed continues to make a great performance.
Reed led the league in interceptions with nine this season and has 43 in the regular season for his career. He also has five career playoff interceptions and would seem a natural spokesman for the Maryland Lottery folks because of his uncanny knack for cashing in a pick six.
Reed continues to work to get treatment for his condition, and judging from his recent plays it is working but he has to be very careful. Having good support for his neck will be helpful such as neck traction or using a supportive neck pillow at night. There are newer treatments such as non surgical spinal decompression that may help him as well. Modalities such as heat and ice. Electrotherapy and massage will be beneficial to aid in muscle spasms and pain.
The 2004 NFL defensive player of the year is the only player in league history to boast a touchdown off a punt return, blocked punt, interception and fumble recovery. "He's maybe the best player in the game," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
Reed has be careful in his next plays- yes he wants to be the best he can be for his team, but his health is more important and will affect the rest of his life.