Causes of Spinal Pinched Nerves – Participation in Certain Sports

Participation in certain sports is thought to be one of the leading causes of spinal pinched nerves in people of all ages. Sports are a great way to maintain a healthy body weight, increase strength and flexibility, and enjoy an active lifestyle, but certain sports also tend to increase strain on the spine, which can cause problems down the road. This isn’t to say that playing sports is bad or there is a direct correlation between sporting activities and spine problems, but it is important to be mindful of potential risks and to take the necessary steps to reduce the likelihood of problems developing.

Sports that can cause problems

The most obvious way that sports can cause neck and back problems is through injury. When you play any sport, you are accepting a certain amount of risk with regard to experiencing strains, sprains, bruises and minor aches and pains. Pulling a muscle in your neck or back while playing football is quite normal and something most football players have to deal with at some point. However, there is another potential problem associated with participation in sports beyond the short-term. As we grow older, our spinal anatomy naturally begins to deteriorate, and there is mounting evidence that a lifetime spent playing certain sports can potentially accelerate or worsen this deterioration. A few examples of the sports that put significant strain on the spine — either through direct impact or repetitive twisting — include:

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Rugby
  • Tennis

How to avoid pinched nerves

While pinched nerves cannot be avoided entirely and a degenerative spine condition can develop even when an abundance of caution is used, there are some ways to reduce the chance that you’ll develop issues. For starters, be sure to always thoroughly stretch before participating in sports. You should take frequent breaks, stop if you start to feel uncomfortable and stay hydrated. It’s also a good idea to consult your physician regularly to determine if you are harming your spine more than you know.

If you experience a pinched nerve as a result of a spine disorder and you are exploring treatment options, contact Laser Spine Institute and learn about our many minimally invasive spine procedures.

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