Injuries are a common part of athletics. Whether playing a high-contact sport like football or more individualized sport like tennis, the wrong step or wrong body mechanics can quickly lead to a back injury. Back injuries can be sprains of the ligaments or muscles, or simply injury from repetitive overuse. Regardless of the source of pain, there are several treatment options to consider to get you back in action faster.
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Muscles need time to repair and heal, which makes rest an essential part of the healing process after you’ve been injured during a sport. Rest does not necessarily mean no movement at all, but depending on the severity of the injury, may require taking a break from sports and training.
Both ice and heat play a role in healing a back injury, but it’s important to know when each is appropriate. In order to understand which to use, start with how each affects the body. When ice is applied, inflammation and pain are reduced. This is why ice is often applied during the initial period of an injury to help control swelling by constricting blood vessels. Heat applied to the skin causes the blood vessels to expand, increasing blood flow to the area. This is great for muscle spasms or tight muscles later in the healing process. In some cases an alternation of heat and ice may be used. Work with your doctor to determine the best method for your specific injury.
Physical Therapy Exercises
Just as important as rest when dealing with a sports injury is strengthening the affected muscles and maintaining flexibility. Physical therapists develop individual exercise and stretching programs to help injuries heal quicker, while also building the strength and flexibility necessary to avoid future back injuries.
Chiropractors can work hand in hand with physical therapists to help increase healing times and prevent future back injuries. Professional chiropractors, like those at Alberta Back and Neck Rehab in Calgary, develop holistic treatments for back injuries and pain dealing not only with the muscles and other soft tissues, but also the supporting bones.
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With time and the right care, in most cases you’ll be back playing your favorite sports in no time. However, it’s important to seek out professional care during the healing process, especially if your injury is causing enough pain to reduce mobility or is affecting your ability to go about regular day-to-day activities.