When you are playing a sport that you love, you can feel like you are on top of the world—that is until you completely overexert yourself and end up with a chronic back injury. Thankfully, it is possibly to avoid this by taking precautionary measures. To ensure that you are able to avoid back pain and injury while getting to continue to play and enjoy the sport that you love for years to come, here are three preventative tips to follow.
Tip #1: Stretch Prior to Exercising
Many people assume since they'll be exercising there is no need to stretch. However, during exercise, you are pushing your entire body to its limits, so you need to warm up your muscles through various stretches to ensure it can handle that overdrive you are about to put it through.
Begin by getting into a lunge. Start with your left leg behind you and your right leg in front of you. Press the ball of your left foot into the floor. As you support yourself with your right leg, bring your left knee to the floor and stretch your arms up to the ceiling. When you do this, you should feel a slight stretch in toward the front of the leg. Now, lowering your hands to your toes, stand up, which will elongate your hamstrings. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Depending on the sport that you play, you will likely want to do other stretches. For instance, you may want to focus on stretches that involve your biceps, triceps, and shoulders as well.
Tip #2: Always Use Proper Form
Once you have stretched your muscles, you need to make sure that you are engaging the muscles that you will be using while playing your sports. For instance, during golf, you use your core. Therefore, you will want to perform some situps since this will engage the core and prevent you from swinging without utilizing the muscles in your abdomen, potentially leading you to over twist and injure your back. Consider sitting down with an expert in your particular sport who can talk to you about the proper form, such as scoring a goal, shooting hoops, etc. while using the proper form.
Tip #3: Give Yourself Breaks
When you are taking part in extreme workouts and long practice sessions, it is important that you give yourself some breaks in between so that your body can rest. If you fail to give your muscles time to heal, they will not be able to support your bones, leading to back pain. After playing sports, if you feel soreness in a certain muscle, put some ice on it to help reduce any inflammation that may be present and keep that area elevated as much as possible. After a few days, if you are still in pain, talk to a doctor who can work with you in developing a treatment plan before you start exercising again.
If you are dealing with back pain as a result of a sports injury, reach out to a local back pain management facility for professional guidance.