Spring Sports and Your Spine

Soccer, softball, walking, baseball, lacrosse, golf, tennis, running, skateboarding, rugby, and equestrian sports all swing back into life as soon as it gets warm in the spring, often before the leaves are even fully out on the trees. It can be so exciting to get back outside after a long, dark winter that we forget to think before we jump right in. Let’s take a look at each of the most common spring sports and see what the specific spinal concerns could be, and how to mitigate them, according to Dr. Grigory Goldberg.

  • Soccer. While soccer may not involve as much bodily contact as football, it is still a contact sport and, as such, has the potential for serious spinal injury. Popular moves such as headers and tackling are not advised if you have spinal issues. Being in a healthy workout routine with a balance of strength and flexibility training before practices start in the spring is a great way to make sure you’re ready for the rigors of the game.
  • Rugby/Lacrosse/Baseball/Softball. These sports are dependent on high-impact collisions between players, whether it’s a tackle, a slide into base, or simply not wearing enough padding; all these factors can present dangers for vertebral well-being. Working with a team and a good coach who has your physical health as a priority is key.
  • Tennis. This sport is noncontact (hopefully); however, there are still concerns to be addressed. Tennis requires so much upper body and core strength, combined with lower body agility and speed, that some players end up forgetting to balance their workouts and bodies, resulting in spinal stresses and injuries. Playing indoor during the winter is a perfect way to make sure you don’t lose condition during the offseason.
  • Walking/Running/Golf. Generally, having good form is the key to each of these activities. Seeing a professional for lessons or working with a buddy can make sure your spinal alignment and activity stay focused and correct.
  • Skateboarding/Equestrian. At first, these two seem like the least likely sports to be paired, but each involves the whole body, often at speeds beyond those of normal running, often with obstacles and, of course, using a nonhuman partner or device. In these activities, whole body workouts that focus on quick reactions and stamina are key to preventing falls and injuries that may lead to minimally invasive spine surgery.

Spring is a great time to get outside, enjoy the weather, and focus on fitness. Follow these tips and you’ll be cool by this summer! Contact us now if you have questions about how to best keep your spine healthy during spring activities.

Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute is a medical practice located in Freehold and Monroe, NJ, our medical professionals are experts in orthopedic surgery, joint replacement, sports medicine, integrative wellness, spine care, physical therapy, and more.