As an athlete, your back can take a beating with the sheer physicality of playing sports. Athletes are prone to all types of injuries, including back injuries. Of course, one of the earliest signs of this type of injury is back pain.
If you’re feeling pain in your back, you cannot bring your A-game. As much as you want to give it your 100 percent, you have to address your back pain unless you want to suffer long-term consequences because of it. Back pain that is left untreated by a skilled sports doctor can eventually be debilitating.
Fortunately, back pain treatment options for athletes are numerous. The goal is to treat the injury, reduce the pain, and get you back to playing your sport.
What Are the Treatment Options for Back Pain?
Most back injuries respond to conservative treatment methods, and then there are some that require surgery. It’s important to have yourself diagnosed by a doctor and not allow the condition to become worse.
The following are some of the first steps in treating common causes of back pain:
For Back Muscle or Ligament Strains or Sprains
For mild back sprains and strains, applying a cold pack usually helps the swelling to go down and encourages faster healing. If you’ve sustained this injury, you need to rest and take over-the-counter pain medications.
If a back sprain or strain is more severe, the typical recommendation is physical therapy and possibly also occupational therapy. Follow the treatment plan recommended by your orthopedic physician and your physical therapist before returning to your sport.
For Herniated or Slipped Discs
Back pain may be caused by a herniated or slipped disc in the spine after a fall or sudden twisting. Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication usually helps to reduce the pain from a mild herniated disc or slipped disc, in addition to physical therapy exercises.
If the back pain is sharp, severe, or chronic, your doctor may provide steroid injections into the lower back. Core training exercises should also be done together with physical therapy exercises. If these do not work, surgery may be in order.
For Back Muscle Spasms or Tightness
Biofeedback is very effective in reducing back pain that is a result of muscle spasms or tightness. This treatment method uses monitoring devices to relax your muscles. They can also help with breathing exercises or other relaxation methods.
If you have a charley horse in your back, you should be able to find relief from taking a hot bath, having a back massage, or taking over-the-counter pain medicine.
For Chronic Back Pain
For chronic back pain sufferers, radiofrequency neurotomy uses radio waves to generate heat that calms the nerves. This essentially stops pain signals from being felt.
Needles are first injected into the skin of the area of your back or neck to target specific nerves. The radio waves are then delivered to the targeted nerves. This treatment is usually recommended for athletes with back pain that does not respond to rest, ice, or physical therapy.
Back Pain Treatment for Athletes in West Jersey
Our orthopedic team at the Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey are sports medicine professionals who specialize in the treatment of sports injuries. We understand how important it is to recover quickly after a sports injury, so we utilize the most advanced and effective treatment methods for a broad range of sports injuries. If your back pain does not respond to conservative treatment methods, we are experienced in minimally invasive surgical techniques to facilitate your recovery.
Serious athletes and casual athletes alike trust us with treating their injuries. If you need pain relief or injury treatment, please call the Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey today at (973) 989-0888 or request an appointment now. We look forward to seeing you here in our Dover, New Jersey facility!