Suffering From Sports-Related Back Pain? Know When to See an Expert

Suffering From Sports-Related Back Pain? Know When to See an Expert

As an athlete, you’re used to the aches and pains that come from pushing your body to perform. But when back pain persists, it could be a sign of a sports-related injury, which might require medical attention to prevent further damage or ongoing complications. 

At Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists in Arlington, Virginia, our board-certified providers John Huffman, MD, and Talal Ghazal, MD, specialize in sports medicine, giving them the expertise needed to help resolve your pain and get you back in the game.

Our providers offer comprehensive diagnosis of your sports-related injury, including the identification of any areas of your body that have structural abnormalities or weaknesses that may affect recovery or increase your risk of future injuries. 

Once we understand the nature of your injury, our team creates a personalized sports medicine treatment plan, including innovative treatments ranging from regenerative medicine to medication to help you safely recover as quickly as possible. 

It’s important to recognize the signs that your sports-related back pain requires the skills and knowledge of a medical provider. Keep reading to understand some common signs it’s time to seek help and how we ease your pain.

1. Your back pain doesn’t improve

One of the first signs it’s time to see an expert about your sports-related back pain is persistent pain or discomfort that doesn't improve after rest and other self-care measures, like ice or anti-inflammatory medicine. 

While it’s normal to experience minor aches or muscle soreness after intense physical exercise, if your back pain continues for more than a few days or worsens, don’t ignore it. Ongoing pain can be a sign of an underlying injury or condition that requires medical attention, such as:

As experts in sports medicine, the providers at Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists evaluate your symptoms, conduct a thorough examination, and order any necessary diagnostic tests to identify the root cause of your pain.

2. Your pain radiates or triggers numbness

If your sports-related back pain radiates to other areas of your body or comes with numbness, tingling, or weakness, you should seek prompt help from a medical expert. 

These symptoms often point to nerve involvement, which can be related to conditions like a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. These conditions compress the nerves in your back, triggering symptoms that radiate into your buttocks, hips, legs, and feet.

If you don’t take steps to treat the underlying condition causing your radiating pain, you increase your risk of long-term nerve damage or loss of function. Your provider may order diagnostic tests, like an MRI or nerve study, before recommending treatment options to ease your symptoms and prevent ongoing complications. 

3. Your back pain affects your ability to move

Sports-related back pain can significantly affect your ability to move as well as your overall functionality. If you notice a decrease in your range of motion, find performing everyday activities a challenge, or can’t take part in your favorite physical activities, it's time to seek expert help. 

Losing range of motion and mobility can be a sign of a more serious underlying problem, such as a spinal injury or structural problem with your spine, which requires careful evaluation through a physical exam and imaging tests when necessary. 

4. Your back pain goes away… then comes back

If you’re experiencing repeated periods with back pain or if your pain goes away but comes back after engaging in sports or physical activities, don’t dismiss it. Frequent recurrence of back pain could be a sign of an underlying condition that requires medical evaluation and management.

Our providers can carefully assess your symptoms, review your medical history, and conduct a comprehensive examination to help get to the root problem. In some cases, your specialist may order additional diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or an MRI, to identify any structural abnormalities or chronic conditions contributing to your pain. 

5. Your back pain affects your daily life

When your sports-related back pain starts to interfere with your daily life, making it hard to carry out your normal routine, sleep, or even concentrate on mundane tasks, it’s a sign that expert help is necessary. 

Your Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists develops a personalized back pain treatment plan to meet your unique needs, which may include a combination of pain management therapies, medications, lifestyle modifications, and other interventions.

If you recognize the signs that it’s time to see a specialist about your sport-related back pain, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists in Northern Virginia. 

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