How to Avoid Back Injuries while Playing Sports in Santa Monica, CA

People who are active in sports are often prone to back and neck injuries, and sports injuries are one of the most common reasons people visit spine surgeons in Beverly Hills. The vertebral column is vulnerable and can easily be harmed due to overuse or sudden impact. Being mindful of protecting the spine during intense activity and practicing a few simple guidelines are important steps in avoiding back and neck pain when playing sports.

1. Conditioning

Taking the time to properly train the body for intense activity is a crucial step toward avoiding injury. People who are inadequately conditioned to perform workouts that involve strength and endurance often wind up with sprains and strains along the spinal column. Athletes and teams can use the expertise of personal trainers who can help them focus on fortifying the muscles of the back and neck so that they are better prepared to endure stress.

2. Warming Up

Jumping into intense physical activity without properly warming up puts the neck and back at risk for injury. When cold muscles and ligaments are suddenly thrust into a heavy workout, they are more likely to overstretch and tear. Properly warming up with a few minutes of cardiovascular activity increases circulation to the spine making the muscles more supple and ready for action. Golfers and tennis players can prepare by taking a few gentle practice swings.

3. Adding Variety

Athletes who stick with one type of sport or exercise routine may develop neck or back injuries by overusing the same muscle groups. Mixing up the routine by adding activities that challenge different areas of the body can help keep the spine and the rest of the body strong. Runners who fail to develop their upper bodies can wind up with weakened torsos and subsequently cervical and lumbar problems.

4. Rest and Nutrition

Overtraining is a phenomenon seen in athletes who tend to push themselves past their physical limits in an effort to improve performance. In fact, working the body’s muscles too hard without sufficient rest causes the muscles to weaken and break down making the person more prone to injury. Listening to the body’s cues, resting, and eating a restorative diet are key to remaining injury-free.

For more information about treating sports-related back and neck pain, reach out to Dr. Hyun Bae and his experienced team of medical professionals at The Spine Institute in Beverly Hills. Dr. Bae is a leader in the field of spine surgery and can help you determine the best options for eliminating or significantly reducing your back or neck pain. Schedule an in-person consultation by calling (310) 828-7757.