Recreational sports that can aggravate back pain

While most back pain that is a result of natural degeneration due to aging will develop with years of wear and tear, the single most common cause of back pain is a muscle strain or ligament sprain. For people who lead an active lifestyle and participate in recreational sports, the risk of spine or muscle injury increases. However, it’s important that you do not shy away from activity for fear of neck or back pain. Rather, choose sports that reduce your risk but still promote maximum cardiovascular and muscle health. Additionally, it is important to practice proper technique and posture for any activity you do pursue.

Some of the most common sports that lead to neck and back pain, either through sudden injury or increased stress that raises the risk for degenerative conditions like a herniated disc, bulging disc or spinal stenosis, include the following:

  • Weightlifting
  • Cycling
  • Road jogging or running
  • Golf
  • Bowling
  • Rowing

Staying active while reducing back pain

Becoming overly sedentary to prevent back pain or to relieve existing pain is not a good idea. Immobility decreases circulation, muscle mass, immune function, endorphin levels and cardiovascular function. Rather, choose activities that are challenging but do not place undue stress on the vertebrae, discs, facet joints and muscles of the spine. Low-impact activities include yoga, Pilates, cycling on a recumbent stationary bike, using an elliptical trainer instead of jogging, muscle-building with resistance bands and exercise ball therapy.

Other conservative treatment methods

If you would like to explore conservative pain relief methods while you take part in activities, work with your doctor to design a plan that includes hot/cold compresses, pain medication, steroid injections and lifestyle changes. Never embark on a plan of diet and exercise without your doctor’s supervision if you have been diagnosed with a spine condition.

For degenerative spine conditions like a herniated disc or spinal arthritis, surgery can become an option if conservative treatments have been exhausted without providing the relief necessary for a good quality of life. If you are being recommended for a spine procedure, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the advantages our minimally invasive spine surgery can offer. Performed on an outpatient basis, our procedures use techniques that help our patients enjoy many advantages compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.

We are happy to help you receive a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.