Chronic Back Pain and Injury: The Potential Career Ender
Larry Bird and Tracy McGrady were both NBA superstars during their heyday and dropped 30 to 40 points in certain games with relative ease. The two also had another thing in common, though: both of their careers ended prematurely because of chronic back pain that started in their early 30s.
The Deterioration of the Body
The back is crucial to the performance of an athlete; it supports the entire body from head to toe. Chronic back pain and injury leads to the overcompensation of other muscles and bones. A weak back makes it difficult to stand straight, crouch and run as fast as possible when competing at a high level. A basketball player cannot run and shoot properly because of the limited motion allowed by a chronically painful back.
Tightness and chronic pain in the back affects your ability to move your arms, legs and head. Basketball players need flexibility and sudden bursts of strength because of the nature of the game. Life Ready Physio agrees that poor conditioning and training lead to weak muscles in the back. This weakness affects the shoulder and chest muscles, limiting the ability of an athlete to reach peak performance during a competition.
The core muscles affect the strength of your back; a weak core puts pressure on the back muscles, increasing the risk of injury and chronic pain.
A strong core provides the support the back needs, also prevents it from deteriorating and weakening prematurely, despite the rigors of training and competition. A balanced and resilient core enables an athlete to move freely, and improve flexibility and range of motion. It keeps the body stabilised even in bumpy situations, which is important to athletes who need their bodies to move in dynamic ways.
Doctors and physiotherapists recommend core-strengthening exercises to players who are suffering from chronic back pain and injury. This training program improves back strength and posture, enabling an athlete to remain at an elite level.