16 Mar Sports Injuries and Back Pain
It’s very common for athletes, whether professionals or amateur, to experience back pain. Playing sports tends to place pressure and strain on the neck, upper, and lower back. With repetitive motions over years of playing, it’s very easy to sustain an injury over time. Or with sudden and unexpected movements, you can also sustain an injury in an instant.
1. Upper Back Injuries
The mid portion of the spine is referred to as the thoracic spine. This portion is not as likely to be injured—it is well supported and is relatively immobile. Because this part of the spine is at rib level, injuries often involve a rib fracture, intercostal neuralgia, or intercostal muscle strain when revolving the torso. This can easily happen in weight training, swimming, golf, tennis, baseball, or skiing.
2. Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain and injuries are very common in sports. Many sports tend to put a strain on the lower back. Most sporting events require repetitive motions and repetitive impact—i.e. the impact of running, the twisting motion of baseball, the range of motion in weightlifting, and others.
3. Neck Injuries
The leading causes of neck injuries are sport related. Usually, neck injuries are a result of contact sports like football. Many sports put the cervical spine at risk of injury or strain. Between sudden movements and repetitive motions, necks are often strained. Whether you’re being hit by a defensive lineman or cranking your neck in a golf swing, there are plenty of opportunities for injury.
4. The Importance of the Warm-Up
Warming up your muscles to prepare for exercise is extremely important and can help you avoid injury. Stretching can also be helpful, but there is a difference between warming up muscles and stretching them. Playing sports often requires total excursion, extreme movements, and sudden impact. All of these things leave your muscles at risk. Before playing any sport, an athlete should warm-up. This warm-up should target muscle groups that will be used in playing the sport. You can warm-up by doing some light cardio or exercises. Don’t push yourself too hard, the goal here is to get the blood pumping to your muscles and slowing rise your heart rate, easing into a state of high performance. Some easy movements, even just walking, will increase blood circulation to muscles and ligaments. You can also stretch your lower and upper back to help prevent injury. Stretching hamstrings and quadriceps are usually a good idea for most sports as well. Start movements slowly and build up.
5. Massage Therapy
The professionals at Spinal Rehab can help your work through your sports-related back pain. If you have already developed pain or injury, see a massage therapist. They will help to loosen your muscles and rid your neck and back of pain and strain. They can also provide you with exercises that may help you strengthen the needed muscles to perform on the field. We may be able to help your practice correct form to prevent future injury as you develop proper technique for your sport.