Neck and back pain prevention advice for athletes
Neck and back pain prevention is extremely important for the active athlete, whether you’re a professional or an enthusiast. Athletes who have dealt with injury know how frustrating being sidelined from a favorite activity can be. The good news is there are steps anyone can take to improve the health of the spine and the surrounding muscles and tissues to decrease the likelihood of debilitating pain developing.
Neck pain and lower back pain are experienced by nearly everyone at some point in their life. The cervical spine in the neck and lumbar spine in the lower back support a tremendous amount of weight and are also extremely mobile, which makes these segments of the spine particularly prone to injury and gradual wear related to aging. While these forces are not reversible, there are still a number of steps that athletes can take to reduce the risk of injury:
- Stretch. The most common source of neck and back pain is muscle strain, which is usually caused by the overexertion of tense muscles. Taking the time to stretch correctly significantly reduces this risk.
- Stay hydrated. Keeping hydrated with water and electrolytes is important for avoiding cramps and keeping healthy.
- Don’t try and do too much. Building up the necessary muscles is an integral step toward avoiding injury, and the likelihood of muscle strain or a degenerative spine condition is greatly increased when the athlete tries to overdo it.
- Take frequent breaks from repetitive activities. Continuous bending and twisting puts undue stress on the spine and increases the chance of strain.
- Maintain good posture. The correct alignment of the spine reduces stress on the spinal anatomy.
- Focus on core conditioning. Having a strong body, good cardiovascular health and aerobic conditioning help you maintain good form and prevent the fatigue that often leads to injury.
In most cases neck and back pain can be prevented with proper preparation. However, if pain persists for several days, it is important for the athlete to visit a physician for further treatment. If you have chronic neck or back pain related to a spine condition and conservative treatments, including exercise, have not brought relief, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine procedures, offering our patients a shorter recovery time.^
We can help you find out if you’re a potential candidate for one of our outpatient procedures by performing a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* today.