Back pain

And the last most common injury is… Back strain.

Uh, that’s for old people isn’t it? My dad’s always complaining about his back.

Nope. Back Strains are not just for old people. They occur across a wide variety of sports and all sorts of athletes are susceptible to them. It could be caused from impact or twisting motions in sports such as football, hockey & wrestling. It could be caused by an improper jump in basketball. Finally, it could also be brought on by a poor slide or turn during running sports like baseball, soccer and track. (And, btw, when you are stressed out, you are more prone to injury. Just sayin’.)

Reminder: Strains are an over-stretch, pull or tear of the muscle due to either trauma or excessive movement. With back injuries, at the time of the Straining incident, there will be a sharp pain at the sight of the injury. Sometimes the muscle can tighten and go into spasm. Movements that require the use of the muscle will be painful and limited.

The important thing to note is that treatment for Strains depends upon the severity of the Strain. Minor Strains will improve with just rest, but for severe Strains physical therapy will be required to minimize inflammation and decrease the pain. The treatments may include heat, and massage to relax the muscles, as well as stretching and strengthening of tighter muscles throughout the body.

You know I feel like there’s a theme here. It seems to me that for all of these injuries strengthening and stretching is recommended to treat and to prevent them.

As mentioned above, in our super competitive sports environment today, everybody tends to get focused on increased performance and increased strength. Stronger is seen as better. But that message really does need to change because stretching and flexibility play a huge role in preventing sports injuries.

Angela Smith, orthopedic surgeon at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, also notes, “Focusing on all around athleticism keeps the body balanced and less vulnerable to injury.”

Flexibility is a major component of all around athleticism, as is core body strength. Core body strength is the strength of your abdominal, back and pelvic muscles—seen as the “core” or your body.

In addition, many of the injuries orthopedics are seeing are caused by repetitive motion: doing one motion, or sport motions, over and over. As mentioned above, kids these days tend to play one sport all year round and this will greatly increase the chances of repetitive sports injuries. All five of these common injuries we’ve just discussed can be caused by repetitive use (even concussions, as we mentioned, people who have had one concussion are more susceptible to others).

Most important, remember, if the body never has a chance to rest (recover) and/or to develop surrounding supportive muscle groups, it will suffer and you may end up with a larger or more severe injury than the initial injury.

 “Desire is the most important factor in the success of any athlete.”

–Willie Shoemaker

With the desire to do well, athletes need to remember that doing well means, first and foremost, being able to play.  You can not play at your best when you are injured and, indeed you may be out for a long time if you do not treat injuries with rest, stretching and strengthening.

To be the best that you can be means preventing injury and being respectful of the healing your body needs when one does occur.

Post Question:

Do you think most teens take enough preventative measures when it comes to sports and injuries? Name something you do to help prevent injury.

Answer the post question here

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