Every year, thousands of ordinary people and athletes deal with back injuries that cause severe pain, immobility, and psychological impacts in the long run. After visiting the doctor and getting the proper medical management, you find yourself searching online for the latest scientific methods to prevent future injuries. Unfortunately, the online community is loaded with useless or insufficient instructional information, such as that relating to:
- Make sure to warm up.
- Cooling down is as important as warming up!
- Stretch your muscles and joints before exercising.
On the surface, these tips sound very helpful, but sadly, their meaning is quite vague, leaving room for several interpretations. What is the right way to warm up or cool down? How can you stretch your muscles without tearing them? Is there a right way to move your joints? The answer to these questions is the key to reduce your risk of getting injured, which is what we’re going to cover in this article.
Here are some practical tips to prevent back injuries:
First, you need to warm up your body by performing low-impact exercises, such as jogging, cycling, or simply walking. After that, make sure that the synovial fluid is moving inside your joints, especially in the lower back, hips, and pelvic area.
In the latest guidelines of sports injuries, experts found that the following warmup routines significantly reduce the risk of all musculoskeletal issues, including back injuries:
- Forward running
- Forward run with zig-zag
- One leg jump over a line
- Jumps in place
Once you finish working out, it’s time for the cool-down phase.
This phase focuses on the gradual decrease of heart rate, cardiac output, and muscle engagement. An effective routine to cool down should last between 5 to 10 minutes and could entail light jogging, walking, or knee-to-chest pose. Practicing a proper cooling down routine is believed to prevent post-exertional soreness (a.k.a. delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)) and reduce the risk of back injuries.
Be aware of any painful sensations
Differentiating between good and bad pain is a crucial skill to learn in order to prevent lower back pain. While it’s natural to sense soreness during strenuous exercises, sudden and severe pain should be a clear warning sign that something is not right.
Recurrent lower back injuries are a hassle to deal with. Hopefully, this article helped you understand the importance of warming up and cooling down with some basic instructional tips, as well as the importance of listening to your body. If you have any questions, our sports medicine clinic in Lubbock, Texas, offers a variety of topics about nutrition and fitness, while also addressing patients’ concerns.
Here’s to your health!
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Dr. Kevin Crawford
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Disclaimer: This information is provided as an educational service only, and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Anyone seeking specific medical advice or assistance should consult his or her doctor or orthopedic surgeon.