So you’ve picked up basketball as a new sport at the gym and are experiencing back pain that you’ve never felt before. Or maybe you’re just seeing that a lot of your favorite NBA players are out for a few games due to a back injury. Either way, the common trend is that a high activity sport like basketball and back pain seem to go hand in hand.
Does Playing Basketball Cause Back and Neck Problems?
The high impact nature of many sports, especially basketball, increases your chance of back pain. For anyone who plays basketball frequently or professionally, your back and neck can be injured from overuse, or from sudden jerking movements that are prevalent in the game.
People often ignore back pain and assume it’s from sore muscles and that the pain will eventually go away. However, it’s important to see a physician to be sure your back pain isn’t from a more serious injury or condition. Early treatment of back injuries can help prevent more damage.
Common Back Injuries
These common back injuries can occur because of playing sports, lifting, or other strenuous activities:
Back Strain or Sprain
A back strain means that muscles or tendons that support the spine are twisted, pulled, or torn. A back sprain is the stretching or tearing of a ligament. Symptoms of a back strain or sprain are pain that worsens with movement, muscle spasms, and decreased range of motion.
Initial treatment includes rest, using ice packs, and compressing the muscles with a back wrap or brace. If symptoms last longer than 2 weeks, schedule an appointment.
The disks in your spine are attached to vertebrae to provide shock absorption. The disks can tear, herniate, or wear away over time. If you have symptoms including pain, stiffness, or numbness or weakness, you may have an injured disk in your back or neck.
Treatments include taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, participating in physical therapy, or receiving epidural injections. If symptoms persist, or the pain is disabling, surgical procedures including a microdiscectomy or anterior cervical discectomy and fusion may be recommended.
Degenerative spondylolisthesis means that a vertebra slips over another which is common from general wear and tear or aging. Symptoms can include lower back pain, leg pain, or a tired feeling in the legs.
If conservative treatment such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines and physical therapy do not ease symptoms, a laminectomy and spinal fusion is the most recommended surgical treatment option.
Treatment for Back Pain
If you’ve experience back pain for several weeks without improvement, schedule an appointment at OrthoNY today for an evaluation by our spine specialists, or sports medicine providers if you’re an athlete.