Participating in any sports or physical activities strengthens the mind and body. But working out and engaging in these types of activities too much or without rest periods wears down the body. There is the feeling of a good workout with some sore muscles and achiness that lets you know the activity is working positively.
However, soreness can quickly lead to pain and further injury if ignored. The lower back is a common area of soreness after working out playing sports, and where muscle spasms, pulls, and pinches occur. Being able to distinguish between workout soreness and pain is critical for maintaining a healthy spine.
A constant-sore back or feelings of sharp pains is not normal. If there is a feeling of low back pain during or after a physical routine, stop and take a moment to examine the tingling, discomfort, or pain being experienced. If unsure if the soreness or pain is a cause for concern call or video conference with a chiropractor to discuss what is going on.
Physical activity and pain
Individuals participating in physical/sports activities have an increased risk of low back pain because of the consistent running, twisting, and jumping. Any of these movements place pressure on the spine along with the surrounding ligaments and muscles, which can lead to injury.
Repetitive twisting and turning, stresses the muscles around the spine, which can cause frequent muscle sprains. Running and jumping also wears down the vertebrae and discs. Impact activities can also cause injuries to the spine, nerve roots, and surrounding tissues. The most common back problems include:
- Muscle sprains
- Bulging discs
- Herniated discs
- Fractures are less common but still pose a risk
Individuals should watch for achiness or stiffness that lasts longer than a few days and does not alleviate with ice or anti-inflammatory over the counter medication, or sharp pain that happens with specific movement/s, along with any pain, numbness, tingling that runs down the leg/s or to other areas should consult a medical professional.
Treatment and prevention
Maintaining the body’s health is critical. If the lower back begins to present discomfort or hurts, do not ignore it. Many will play through the pain when they should be taking a break. And ignoring any back pain could create new injuries or worsen the condition. Continued pressure on the back will worsen any strains or fractures and will hinder the body from healing properly.
Individuals tend to take on awkward/uncomfortable postures and move in awkward ways to avoid or compensate for the pain. This places added pressure in the wrong places and can cause/worsen an injury or condition. Pay attention to the pain. Try ice and heat therapy at home to see if it eases up. Using a foam roller or self-massage device can help if the back pain is muscular. However, if the pain is sharp, shooting, or does not go away, visit a chiropractor for diagnosis and treatment.
A chiropractor will conduct imaging tests and physical exams to identify the root cause. Once a diagnosis has been reached a treatment plan will be implemented through:
- Therapeutic exercises
- Spinal adjustments
- Health coaching
Visiting a chiropractic professional will improve the condition and strengthen the spine.
Fit Body Composition
When engaging in physical activity there is microscopic damage to the muscle cells. The stress and fatigue the body goes through during physical activity cause hormone and enzyme levels to fluctuate, increasing inflammation. This leads to:
- Fat loss
- Increased metabolism
- Increased strength
- Muscle growth
However, it happens through proper recovery. There are different types of recovery: immediate, short-term, and training.
- Immediate recovery is the short time between movements. For example, when jogging, immediate recovery is the time between each stride.
- Short-term is the time between sets of exercises. For example, the rest periods between exercise intervals.
- Training recovery is the period between one workout session ending and the next beginning.
Research has shown that rest time is not a one size fits all. Everyone is different and therefore should consult a fitness trainer, or sports chiropractor and experiment with what feels right. For some individuals, 24 hours works. For others, it can be 48 or 72 hours to feel fully recovered. It depends on age, fitness level, physical activity intensity, diet, sleep, and more.
Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Blog Post Disclaimer
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Smith, Jo Armour et al. “Risk Factors Associated With Low Back Pain in Golfers: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” Sports health vol. 10,6 (2018): 538-546. doi:10.1177/1941738118795425