Up to 20% of all injuries that occur in sports involve an injury to the lower back or neck. Back injuries during sports often occur when we increase the speed or load demand on the body while an area of the body is not prepared for the extra speed or load. There are often 3 common types of back injuries: lower back injury, upper back injuries and neck or cervical injuries.
Lower Back Injury
The lower back is subject to a great deal of strain in many sports. Sports that use repetitive impact (running), a twisting motion (golf), or weight loading at the end of a range-of-motion (weightlifting) commonly cause damage to the lower back.
The neck is most commonly injured in sports that involve contact (football, hockey, rugby, etc.), which place the cervical spine at risk of injury.
Upper Back Injury
The thoracic spine is less likely to be injured but can often involve rib fracture and muscle strains in sports that involve rotation of the torso: swimming, golf, tennis, and even skiing.
The best thing to do is avoid injury in the first place by making sure your whole body is ready for the fun you intend to have. We offer whole body screenings at PT Connections that can help keep you safe from injury. Once you have an injury you will certainly need time to heal but you should also consider fixing the whole body to get rid of any compensation patterns (that may have happened before or after the injury).
A common report of injury among strong and athletic people is “my back went out when I picked up something super light, even though I lift heavy things all the time!” While lifting heavy things we usually pay more attention to technique and what we are doing, when it’s something light we discount the importance of technique and get sloppy and that extra load with poor mechanics gets us in trouble with pain and injury.
If you play sports, enjoy working out or are just an active person, you won’t want to miss our upcoming workshops. Call 719-565-6678 to RSVP to an event or schedule and evaluation, or stop by our clinic to learn more!