How Athletes Can Prevent Back Pain
Understanding Back Pain In Athletes
Athletes aren’t strangers to pain, and back pain can be one problem that could lower their performance. Understanding the causes of back pain and how to prevent it can help athletes stay in top shape and have better training and workout sessions to improve their game. Here’s what you need to know.
Common Causes of Back Pain
Before you can address fixing your back pain problem, it’s essential to understand what caused it in the first place. Here are some common causes of back pain in athletes:
- Back muscle/ligament strains -Typically caused by quick jerking movements that result in stretching or tearing of back muscles.
- Herniated/slipped disc - Slipping of a disc can be caused by a fall or repeatedly straining the back or violent twisting.
- Mechanical lower back pain - Often caused by an old injury that hasn’t properly healed. Additionally, poor posture can also be a contributing factor.
- Spondylolysis - A crack or stress fracture in one of the vertebrae that can be aggravated by overuse.
How to Prevent Back Pain
It’s no secret that having back pain can have a negative impact on your performance. Here are some preventative measures:
- Strengthen your core with a variety of exercises such as crunches or pilates. Many yoga poses include planking to help strengthen your core, too.
- Warm up your muscles and follow with stretching.
- Keep good posture by standing up straight, keeping your shoulders back, and pulling in your stomach. When working at your computer, avoid slumping your shoulders.
- Use ergonomics at work and school by setting your computer screen at eye level, or use an ergonomic chair with a backrest while working, that supports your lower (lumbar) back.
- Practice proper lifting techniques by standing close to the object, with knees bent, slowly squat, and lift objects slowly. Be sure not to bend forward.