If you're an athlete, you might be concerned about any type of injury keeping you on the sidelines. While acute injuries are a concern, so too are nagging issues such as an aching back. Back pain can not only prevent you from playing in the sport that you enjoy, but can limit your effectiveness when you do make it back onto the field. While seeing a chiropractor for a back assessment and adjustment is an ideal way to get you back in the game, there are a number of other ways that you can reduce the risk of back pain or alleviate nagging back pain so that you'll be able to keep playing. Here are some tips.
Don't Skip Stretching
While it might be tempting to arrive at the sports field and begin playing right away, you should schedule enough time to give yourself a proper chance to stretch -- not just your back, but all of your major muscle groups. There are a number of different stretches that you can adopt before the action begins. One such idea is to lie on your back, bend your knees and rotate them slowly from side to side to limber up the muscles in the back.
Walk Before You Run
Just as stretching is important, it's also valuable to perform some light or moderate cardiovascular exercise before you begin to actually play your sport. Doing so can ease the pain of a stiff back and warm up your muscles. If you're playing soccer, for example, take a walk around the field once or twice, followed by a light jog for one or two laps. You'll be feeling ready to compete by the time this warm-up period is over.
Be Aware Of Your Posture
Poor posture is a major cause of back pain, and while people often associate poor posture with sitting at a desk for long periods, you can develop poor posture during any number of sporting activities. Even though you're focused on the game, try to note how you're standing. If you're a catcher in baseball, for example, stand up between batters so avoid a crouching position that could strain your lower back. If you're a soccer goaltender, don't remain in a bent-forward position with your hands on your knees for long stretches. When the action is in the other end of the field, stand up naturally and walk back and forth to loosen your back muscles.
For more information, contact a chiropractor like Haring Marc DC.