More than 80 percent of all people will suffer from lower back pain during their lifetimes. Only the common cold outranks back pain as an excuse not to go to work. The causes of lower back pain are varied, though the majority of common back injuries are related to degenerative disc disease. Back pain can cause particular issues for athletes, who are unable to skip workouts and practices while they are in pain. If you are an athlete with back pain in NYC, you should keep the following tips in mind.
Taking good care of your back before pain becomes unmanageable or injuries worsen is absolutely essential. Many famous athletes, including Derrick Rose, James Harrison, John Stockton and Jerry Rice have suffered from chronic lower back pain and injuries. Back pain is believed to cause a full seven percent of all injuries in sports. In the NFL alone, back, head and neck injuries accounted for a whopping 10 percent of all injuries to athletes between 2004 and 2009.
Know The Source of Your Pain
Understanding the source of your back pain can help to prevent injuries and alleviate suffering. The most common causes of back pain are poor posture, repetitive stress and poor body conditioning. If your fitness level is low, you may suffer from muscle imbalance or lack of flexibility. Muscle imbalance can also plague kids going through growth spurts. Pay careful attention to your habits, noting activities that cause your pain to worsen.
Know The Symptoms of Back Problems
Many individuals suffer from serious back problems without understanding the severity of such problems. Take note of lower back problems that cause pain to radiate down your legs. Such pain may be caused by problems with your sciatic nerve. Also pay attention to pain that worsens with sitting or that becomes unbearable late at night. Any numbness or weakness in your legs that is connected to back pain should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible.
Understand Your Level of Pain
No one enjoys back pain. However, it’s important to realistically gauge how much pain you are in and how long the pain lasts. Understanding these two factors will help you and your doctor understand the severity of your back problems. Any back pain that lasts for less than three months is considered to be acute while pain lasting for more than three months is considered chronic and will likely require treatment.
Know Your Treatment Options
If you are anathlete suffering from back pain in NYC, you have a variety of treatment options. The application of heat or ice in combination with pain medications is generally the first treatment used to alleviate back pain. Gentle stretching or yoga may also help to alleviate back problems. Acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, massage and rehabilitation are also commonly used to combat back pain.
Athletes who suffer from chronic back pain and inflammation may receive cortisone injections, which will alleviate swelling and help you get back on your feet. In cases of severe back pain and injury, doctors may recommend surgery. Be sure to carefully evaluate all your treatment options before resorting to surgery. Back surgery can be very risky. Most back surgeries require a long course of rehabilitation and may bring an early end to your sports career.
Jeana Olchowy is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her @jolchowy25.