Athletes are typically in good shape because of the regular rigors they put their bodies through. Even so, this doesn’t make them immune to lower back pain (LBP). In fact, athletes tend to be more likely to experience lumbar spine discomfort because of repetitive motions and other sports-related actions and habits. If you happen to be an athlete, you can reap the rewards of leading an active life while also avoiding lower back pain if you keep the following tips in mind.
One of the leading causes of lower back pain for athletes is overexertion, which can happen if they get into the habit of pushing themselves too hard. LBP of this nature is sometimes sudden (acute), such as what might happen if you extend too far to block a goal or take an unexpected tumble. You may also develop repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) over time from overdoing it on a regular basis and overextending muscles that support your lower back. Minimize this risk by:
Many athletes routinely lift weights to get stronger and improve their performance. If this is what you regularly do, be aware that lifting weights improperly could contribute to lower back pain. The two main LBP culprits associated with weightlifting are improper form and attempting to lift too much weight.
If you normally train in a gym, have a partner or trainer monitor your form to reduce your risk of straining or spraining soft tissues in your lower back area. As for the amount of weight, gradually increase what you lift, but don’t sacrifice form just to up your max weight. In fact, you’ll likely enjoy better progress if you focus more on form instead of simply boosting your weight levels.
A lot of athletes spend their time training or lifting weights when they’re not actively engaging in their preferred activities or sports. If this is what you tend to do, remember your core muscle groups deserve just as much attention. These muscles are important because they provide added support for your back and reduce your risk of injury from high-intensity movements. Exercises that could effectively target your core spine-supporting muscle groups include:
Lastly, realize that toughing it out is only going to make lower back pain worse. It’s better to pay attention to minor instances of discomfort in your lower spine area before your aches and pains snowball into something major. After all, you’re not going to be doing yourself or your teammates any favors if you ignore signs of a problem and end up sidelined for much longer than you would have been if you had gone to see your doctor.
If you’re having lower back pain, don’t try to simply push through it. Get in touch with the spinal health specialists at The Spine Institute. Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of pioneering surgeons specialize in procedures such as spinal fusion, minimally invasive surgery, and disc replacement with the Mobi-C artificial disc. Los Angeles patients can rely on our expert physicians to diagnose the source of their pain and help them find relief. Call 310-828-7757 today to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.