Dinara Safina just became the third ranked women’s professional tennis player in the world. Pretty good, right? Not if you end up with a lower back injury. It turns out that the lower back injury has forced Safina out of the China Open this week.
Lower back pain is a constant concern for professional athletes, becasue like you and me, it’s an issue that has no typical discernable cause or treatment. All hope is not lost, though. Lower back pain can be treated if you follow some simple suggestions.
Let’s look at some of the things you need to know:
What is lower back pain? If you feel a twinge, radiating pain or soreness in the lower back you can be sure you’ve injured it somehow. Whether it’s a ligament, disk or muscle issue, the lower back affects everything from walking to running to sitting.
What causes lower back pain? The most common cause of lower back pain is overuse. Overusing the ligaments and muscles in your back can cause the pain. More serious causes include a slipped disk in your spine. The pain usually doesn’t come on slowly; you’ll know you’ve done something to cause it. While the pain does progress, if you stop your activity the damage can be limited. For Safina just look at the photo. Notice how her back pivots to generate power on her serve?
How do you treat lower back pain? The first thing you need to do is determine what caused the injury and suspend the activity. To get immediate relief, lie on a pillow on the floor. The pillow should support your lower back. Raise your legs and put them onto a chair with the chair supporting your legs. Think of it as sitting while laying. This position takes the pressure off your back and should provide relief.
If you don’t receive any relief from the laying position and over the counter pain relievers, consult your doctor. If you happen to have a slipped disk, you’re not going to find relief on your own.
How long does it take to recover from lower back pain? As with most injuries it depends on the severity. The problem with lower back injuries is if you don’t rehab the properly they will continue to steadily get worse over time.