How To Deal With Back Pain In Sport
, 8 min reading time
, 8 min reading time
In general the facet joints will be a likely cause of serious lower back pain. As they take a lot of strain through stability and movement which is heightened through extension and rotation. The 2nd major cause for lower back pain in sport is a prolapsed or herniated disc. The disc can pinch a nerve which can cause a condition called Sciatica. Consequently, giving the sports person sharp pains down through the glute muscles and into the leg. This is more common in older athletes though, as they enter the twilight phase of their sporting career.
It is less common to see back pain caused by a stress fracture, but, this has been known to be an issue with fast bowlers and rugby players. However most lower back pain is through ligament and muscle damage. This can be improved quite quickly by addressing your exercise routine.
To decide on the form of treatment for lower back pain, is determined by the correct diagnosis of the injury. In general a Chiropractor, Sports Therapist or Physio will be able to determine the type of injury. In addition they will be able to create a course of treatment, which may involve a referral for a scan.
There is a crossover of treatments provided by Chiropractors and Sports Therapists. Both practises will treat using a range of manipulation, mobilisation and soft tissue massage. The first priority would be to see either to get diagnosed professionally. It may be possible to seek a short consultation over the phone. This will determine the best form of treatment to seek.
Once your pain has been diagnosed, a schedule of treatment must be agreed. This will include a range of exercises and stretches to work on at home. A quality sports therapist should have information on their website to show how they can help with your treatment. They even have an article on how you can help yourself. Cardy Sports Clinic based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire have a great post on common causes of back pain
There are a number of ways you can protect your back when playing sport. Preparation is the key to avoid lower back pain by conditioning your body, before active sport takes place. Too many players fail to take the pre-match or pre-training routine seriously. Subsequently this is an area where injuries in general can be avoided. To get your body ready for play, you should always include some light cardio work followed by stretching. This allows the muscles to warm up sufficiently and reduces the risk of injury.
But you can prepare your body further, by engaging in exercises that will improve your core strength. You should also consider a range of exercises that will work on your flexibility too.
Too often, a warm up is not taken seriously enough or skipped completely. A warm up conditions the body for the higher intensity exercise that is likely to follow. Warm up exercises are at a lower intensity and slower pace, which should increase blood flow to the muscles. The benefits of a warm up are often overlooked by players and coaches and include
It is essential that the whole body is prepared fully, prior to extensive exercise. However, your core is a key part of your body which allows all muscles to function efficiently. By working on specific areas of your body during the warm up, will improve your performance overall. Key stretches that can be used in your warm up, to prevent back injuries include
All of the exercises above should be taken slowly and carefully. If you feel any pain stop and seek advice from the sports physio or first aider.
There are many reasons a player may suffer from back pain in sport. This might not have anything to do with the actual sport being played. For example, someone who sits at a desk all week and has a poor posture could be susceptible to a bad back. A player may have over-exercised during the week and the body might be at the limit.
Sports that require lots of bending and impact through tackling, have a higher risk factor than other sports.
The list is endless and if you fail to prepare adequately, then you are more likely to suffer from an injury. These are injuries that could be prevented.