Spinal injuries and back pain are significant risks in nearly every sport. For athletes, back injuries can be particularly troublesome because they often require lengthy recoveries. While your spine specialist in Los Angeles can offer non-operative spine care and other back injury treatment options that can get you back in the game as soon as possible, prevention is the best strategy. Protect your back from an injury that ruins your season with this advice.
Stretch and Warm-Up
Before any physical activity, whether in practice or in a game, always stretch and warm-up before taking part. Stretching and warming up boosts circulation to your muscles and helps loosing them up in preparation for exertion. Skipping this pre-activity routine means you’ll be going right from rest to intense activity, which can cause tears and other injuries in the stiff muscles in your back.
Wear Appropriate Safety Gear
Most sports have safety equipment that is designed to prevent a range of injuries, including spinal injuries. Reduce the urge to compete without it, even during practices. If you already have a back injury and your spine specialist recommends that you wear a brace or other type of protection for you back, follow the treatment protocol. Even if this kind of safety gear isn’t typical of your sport, wearing it can make the difference between a minor injury and one that ends your ability to compete for the season.
Listen to Your Body
No athlete wants to volunteer to sit out of a game, but if you experience back pain, rest is essential. Playing through the pain can worsen a spinal injury and lead to long-term immobility. By allowing your body time to heal, your injury may not require any additional treatment, while causing your injury to get worse may leave you in need of spine surgery. For persistent pain, see a spine doctor for a diagnosis and to begin treatment as soon as possible.