When to Seek Medical Help for Your Sports-Related Back Pain

When to Seek Medical Help for Your Sports-Related Back Pain

Living an active lifestyle is essential for reaching and maintaining good physical and mental health. Not only does it keep our bodies in peak condition, but it increases our overall sense of wellness and well-being. 

However, most activities and sports also put stress on the spine, leaving your back prone to injury. Because of this, sports-related back injuries are some of the most common problems active people face, no matter if a person is a competitive athlete or a weekend warrior.

Our board-certified doctors at Valley Pain Centers can treat many causes of back pain using conservative or minimally invasive approaches instead of surgery. In most cases, 90% of acute back injuries improve on their own, usually within three months. However, some sports-related issues can be more serious and require professional care.

Here’s what you should know about sports-related back injuries and when to see an expert.

The most common injuries

You can sustain injuries in any part of your back. However, most sports-related injuries occur in the lower back or neck. These injuries can occur for a variety of reasons, from repetitive stress and awkward twisting motions to traumatic collisions on the field. They can also affect any structure in your back, including ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, and bones.

Common types of sports-related back injuries include:

Generally speaking, you can usually expect minor injuries, such as muscle strains, to improve within 2-3 weeks. If the pain and related issues continue, this could indicate a more serious problem.

When to get help for your sports-related back pain

Pain is often a clear sign of a problem. However, the sensations you experience can also provide clues about the severity of your injury.

Additional signs of an injury requiring professional attention include:

It’s also crucial to seek medical care if you have bladder or bowel changes.

Getting help for sports-related back pain

Our team has the expertise and advanced skills needed to identify the specific cause of your pain. We start by reviewing your symptoms, performing a physical exam to identify which movements trigger your symptoms, and using diagnostic imaging. 

In some cases, we can even diagnose certain pain conditions by using facet joint injections. This therapy delivers pain-blocking medications directly into a spine joint and can help pinpoint the precise source of your symptoms.

After diagnosing your sports-related injury, we create a customized treatment strategy to ease your symptoms and promote healing. Common modalities for relieving back pain include:

It’s also important to seek professional guidance on how to remain active, despite the pain. Inactivity can cause muscles and supportive structures in your spine to weaken, which could increase your chances of suffering persistent pain.

At Valley Pain Centers, with two convenient Arizona locations in Phoenix and Peoria, you are never a number. Your consultation, examination, and treatment are always administered by a highly qualified physician. We have experienced physicians who can help you, including Patricia Henthorn, DC, DAAMUAP, and Norvan Vartevan, DO. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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