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Returning to Sports After a Back Injury



Returning to sports after a back injury

Back pain can be both painful and frustrating to the patient. Unfortunately, moving the wrong way can put you out of commission. No matter if your back pain is due to an injury or it’s chronic, strengthening and stretching your injury are two important components to help you get back on track. The following are simple treatments that allow you to return to sports after you experience a back injury.

Daily Stretching

There are a number of reasons you may experience back pain such as heavy lifting. If you’re in poor physical health or you are obese, you may also be putting additional strain on the muscles in your back. Simple things such as a wrong movement signal lower back pain if you’re not careful. To help put you on the road to recovery quicker after a back injury, you want to ensure that you stretch on a daily basis. Waking up after a long night’s rest may leave you with achiness and stiffness. Before you begin your day, wake up in plenty of time to perform simple stretching exercises. This allows your joints to loosen and readies the body for the upcoming day ahead. If you have a workout or strength training exercise planned, it can also prepare your body for the upcoming movements. Yoga-inspired movements such as downward dog, child pose and half-moon exercises loosens up the back slowly and without additional pressure.

Make Time to Move Mid-Day

If you’ve experienced a back injury, you may be itching to get back to your regular sports routine. If treatment is necessary, an orthopedic doctor may be able to help you return to your active lifestyle in regaining full range of motion. Their personalized approach to evaluating treatment options will assist you in finding the best possible course of action for your injury. When you need assistance returning to your favorite sports after a back injury, you want to make it a habit to move mid-day. This is especially important if you sit at a desk for an extended period of time. Set your smartphone timer to go off every hour. When you hear the alarm, get up and go for a walk around the office. You can also incorporate stretching movements periodically. The added mobility with help prevent pain and stiffness associated with your back injury

Strengthen Your Core

The core of the body is more than toning your abdominals to the tune of a six-pack. It’s also the center that holds the entire body altogether. Athletes who spend time strengthening the core are less likely to have a back injury. Simple exercises such as a plank are the best at building a strong core. If you don’t have the muscle to hold for five minutes, start with 30 seconds, and build up. As you get stronger, you can extend your plank time. Plan the time to plank in the morning, lunch, and during the evening to help improve the strength of your core.

Back Braces and Other Support Mechanisms

Before you return to your normal sports routine, you want to ensure there isn’t any pain or swelling to the injured area. You also want to have a full range of motion within your back muscles without pain or spasms. If you’ve been in contact with your physician, they should also give you the approval to go back to working out. If you lift weights or perform throwing actions, you should do so without experiencing pain or discomfort. If you find yourself hit with an occasional twinge, you may need a back brace or other support mechanism. Your physician or back care facility can help you find the right belt or brace. With the right equipment, you can stabilize your spine and ease any spasms you may experience throughout the day.

Mimic the Sports Activity

If you’re involved in a particular activity, you may need to mimic that movement to help your body get into tip-top shape after an injury. This is especially critical if you compete. A physical therapist or sports specialist will be able to help design a program that slowly increases your activity level, technique, and form. With proper practice and precision, you can lessen your chances of re-injuring your back. You can also strengthen your body.

Getting sidelined from your favorite sporting activity due to a back injury can prove disheartening. Although it’s important to rest the injury, consulting with a professional can put you on the road to recovery a lot quicker. By incorporating the above tips, you’ll also be able to return to your favorite sport stronger than ever before.

Image Credits: Wikimedia