Playing sports and remaining active on a regular basis are good for your overall health. It is no secret that the medical community promotes an active lifestyle. Unfortunately, the same physical activities that are good for your health can lead to injuries and complications that have the ability to leave you in less-than-stellar physical condition, such as with a back injury.
While nearly 80 percent of Americans will suffer from some form of back pain during their lifetime, athletes are even more likely to suffer from back pain due to back injuries, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. However, athletes, whether professional or weekend warriors, are often reluctant to seek treatment for their sports injuries. Instead, they believe they can tough it out, walk it off, or minimize the pain level with a can-do attitude.
Seek Treatment For Back Injuries
From skiing, tennis, and football to running, soccer, and skating, nearly all sports put considerable stress on your back. If pain arises after an invigorating game, practice, or workout or from an accident while playing, many athletes choose to power through the pain. They believe they’ll let their team down if they take a break or quit. However, what many don’t realize is that they could worsen the injury if they don’t seek treatment.
Approximately 10 percent of sports injuries occur in the lower back. When identified early, most back injuries can be treated with minor, non-invasive treatments that gets you back in the game sooner. It’s wise to seek treatment from doctors who prefer to start with the least invasive or minimally invasive treatments to heal your injuries.
Early Treatment Options for Back Injuries Include:
- Massage and stretching
- Heat, ice, compression and elevation
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories
- A period of rest
- Physical therapy
Next Steps in Treating Sports Related Back Injuries
While continuing with your prescribed treatments (as listed above), your doctor may need to treat a back injury from your sport with a procedure that is a little more involved, yet remains non-invasive. These procedures may result in a quick return to your sport of choice.
Less Invasive Treatment Options Back Injuries Include:
- Back brace
- Epidural steroid injection
- Trigger point injection
- Nerve block
- MILD procedure
In some cases, surgery may be recommended to repair a back injury, such as a repetitive motion problem in your back. With the latest surgical techniques, the newest equipment, and the most competent surgeons, chances are you’ll be back playing your favorite sport with the same vigor you always had.
Invasive Treatment Options for Back Injuries Include:
- Spinal fusion
- Disc replacement
- Coflex implant
If you are suffering from a sports related back injury, finding the time to visit a spine specialist is in the best interests of both you and your team. There is not any reason to continue playing with pain. Seeking treatment early is always the best option.