Playing recreational softball with herniated disc leg pain

A herniated disc in the lumbar (lower) spine can cause pain and symptoms that radiate into the lower body, including the legs and feet. Because a herniated disc often develops gradually with the aging of the spine, the symptoms may begin as minor aches or irritation and gradually increase over time. If leg pain related to a herniated disc becomes serious enough, it can begin to interfere with your ability to play sports such as softball.

Often, the body movements required for softball, such as bending, twisting, running, sliding, jumping and sudden explosive movements can be seriously impaired by a herniated disc or similar condition. If you are wondering if it will be possible to return to your favorite sport after being diagnosed with a herniated disc, learning more about the condition is a great first step. The following information can help you take an active role as you work with your doctor to get back to an active lifestyle.

Development of a herniated disc and leg pain

A herniated disc with leg pain develops when damaged disc material pushes into the spinal columns and compresses a nerve that sends pain signals to the buttocks or leg. A herniated disc generally develops as a result of the natural aging process, but factors like injury and repetitive movements can contribute.

Tips for playing softball if you have a herniated disc

If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc and it is preventing you from playing softball, here is a set of guidelines to follow:

  • Get clearance from a doctor before participating in any strenuous physical activity.
  • Work with an athletic trainer or physical therapist to develop a pregame stretching routine geared toward your specific symptoms.
  • Attend physical therapy sessions to strengthen supporting muscles and improve range of motion
  • Stop playing if the pain suddenly becomes worse.
  • Apply ice to the affected area as soon as possible after the game.
  • Don’t overdo it, know your physical limitations and respect them.

Herniated disc treatment

Herniated disc leg pain can improve over time, and the symptoms can be treated using stretching exercises, pain medication, spinal injections, posture improvement and rest. If chronic leg or back pain prevents you from pursuing your passion for softball even after weeks or months of conservative treatment, your doctor may suggest surgery as an option.

In this situation, patients should consider the minimally invasive spine surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute as a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery.^ Our minimally invasive decompression surgery can remove the portion of the herniated disc that is pinching the nerve root to help relieve your pain. Sometimes the entire herniated disc must be removed because it can no longer support the spine. In this case, our surgeons can perform a minimally invasive stabilization surgery, which is our muscle-sparing approach to spinal fusion procedures. Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn how a minimally invasive outpatient procedure can help you find relief from herniated disc leg pain.

We can provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.