Recovery from Back pain can be strenuous for athletes and non-athletes. The two main causes of consistent back pain among athletes are repeated hyperextension and/or pain caused by contact or strain. Although consistent back pain is unusual in young (children) athletes; it should always be taken seriously if back pain persists.
Repeated hyperextension occurs when the spine is continuously over extended or “bending back.” Much like if you were to take a thin piece of aluminum and bend it back and forth. Each bend weakens the medal where its bending. This also referred to as “spinal overload syndrome,” which mostly stems from sports like gymnastics, lacrosse, diving, dancing, etc. Repeated hyperextension places a lot of stress on the structures of the back that allow for flexibility.
The second cause of consistent back pain either involves taking a heavy blow to the back or having the muscles strained too much. These causes are usually found in contact sports such as football, or weight lifting (if someone tries to lift too much). Contact or strain can lead to spinal disc problems, which again are unusual in young athletes, but should always be looked for when a young athlete is complaining about consistent back pain after participating in these kinds of sports or activities.
You don’t need to be an athlete to have consistent back pain. It’s useful to be able to accurately describe your back pain for helping to diagnose the underlying cause. Some examples are…
Axial Pain (AKA Mechanical Pain) – can be described best as a dull or sharp pain that comes and goes. Muscle strains are the most common cause for this type of pain.
Radicular Pain (AKA Sciatica) – can be described as deep or searing pain. Radicular pain runs along the nerve to the arm or leg, which can be paired with weakness or numbness to the limb. The cause for this type of pain can stem from a herniated disc, compression and/or inflammation injury to a nerve root in the spine.
Referred Pain – can be described as achy or dull, varies in intensity, and generally manifests in different places along the spine.
Your back is an important part to you staying active. Watch out for it with plenty of rest if you feel it is strained, bruised or hyperextended. If you have back problems or strained back muscles, we invite you to try one of our Back Braces to help with support and recovery. Get back to being active and embrace life now!