Good To Know

The Most Effective Ways for Athletes to Alleviate Back Pain


The Most Effective Ways for Athletes to Alleviate Back Pain

Back pain is a serious issue that affects people from all walks of life. Those who are sedentary may experience it from sitting at a desk. Those who work in manual labor jobs may experience it because of the strain of the work that they do. Athletes could develop back issues from injuries or repetitive strain.

If you are an athlete, then you will feel even more pressure than the average person to fix your back pain so that you can get back to playing your competitive sport. It is important that you work to fix your back pain quickly, but that you also pay attention to what caused it and what may have damaged it, so that you can avoid it happening again.

Get a Proper Diagnosis

Back pain can be muscular, or it can be caused by a herniated disc or a trapped nerve, and it is important that you find out why your back hurts so that you can take remedial action. Doing the wrong thing in your physical therapy can make the problem worse. Your doctor will be able to assess the damage and then help you to figure out what may be causing the pain. If the cause is not obvious then they may suggest that you have an MRI done to show more information about your spine.

Rest Really Helps

As hard as it can be for an athlete to take time off from their sport, rest really does help. Once you have one sports injury it is easy to develop others, especially if the pain you have is in your back. You will find that you are more prone to moving in unusual ways, and this can cause issues for you because it will make you more likely to strain or sprain other muscles or put stress on tendons and ligaments. Sometimes, time off to let the body repair is the most effective course of action.

Use Painkillers Sparingly

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers reduce pain and relieve inflammation and can be invaluable for people who are in a lot of pain. Opioid painkillers can cause dependence and can be very dangerous to take long term. It’s not ideal to be taking something like ibuprofen for long-term pain relief either if it is avoidable but if you are in serious pain then your doctor may choose to prescribe it, or something similar from If you are given painkillers take only the stated dose, and only for the length of time that they recommend. Make sure that you follow the instructions regarding taking with or without food and avoid alcohol while on medication.

Use Heat Packs

Heat packs can offer help for back pain. They are soothing, and since they are non-invasive, and not a drug, they are a much better option than painkillers for mild to moderate back pain. You can use them regularly, and some people find that if they strap a heat pad to themselves it helps them go about their daily business.

Try to Stay Mobile

Sometimes, back pain can be crippling, and if that’s the situation that you are in then you may end up having to spend a lot of time lying down. Do try, when your pain is under control, to stay at least slightly mobile. The level of activity that you can do is something that you should discuss with your physical therapist. You will most likely be told to avoid lifting weights and doing other strenuous activities. If you are a martial artist, you may be advised to avoid sparring. You should try to still walk and do as much light activity as you can without bothering your back.

Depending on the nature of your injury you may consider doing some stretching, hanging, or yoga. Again, this depends on what your injury is. A good physical therapist will suggest movements that will strengthen or stretch the injured or tight parts of the spine and supporting muscles, to give you the best chance of recovery. Follow the plan that they give you diligently and keep up with it after your injury heals so that you can avoid the same thing happening again.

Consider Osteopathic Treatments

Chiropractors and osteopaths are often recommended for back injuries. These professions are controversial ones in the world of sports medicine because the qualifications required to enter those professions are not the same as the qualifications required to enter a more traditional medical field. The philosophy of osteopathy is rather different to that of traditional medicine. Doctors of Osteopathy are recognized legally in a similar way to Medical Doctors, and many of them do have very good levels of education. This means that you can find some good osteopaths out there, and if you have a back injury that a conventional doctor is struggling to treat, then speaking to an osteopath could be a good option (discuss that plan with your MD first) because an Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment could relieve the pain.

Chiropractors also do spinal adjustments. There are some competent Drs of Chiropractic, and a Chiropractor that focuses purely on treating spinal issues could be an invaluable resource for your back pain. If you are considering working with a Chiropractor, then first of all get your back pain diagnosed by a doctor, and then discuss your plan with them. Be wary of a chiropractor that tries to get you to come back for repeated ‘maintenance adjustments’ to keep you pain free. While there are very competent and reputable chiropractors out there, some in the profession will try to go beyond their expertise and get you to get treatments that you do not need, or tell you that other, unrelated issues, can be managed through ‘cracking your back’.

Strength Train

Once you are recovered, the best way to avoid future back pain is to engage in regular strength training, in particular for the core. Deadlifts with good form and a weight that you can handle, but that is still challenging, can help a lot. Being mindful of your posture at all times is also important.

Samantha hails from Virginia and is a proud wife to a retired Deputy Sheriff and mother to two amazing little boys named Jack & William. A veteran product reviewer; Samantha has been reviewing products for 8 years and offers high quality product reviews with original photography.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.