3 Reasons Athletes Are Prone To Back Spasms

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi


athlete back spasms

As we’ve discussed on the blog before, a back spasm is characterized as intermittent or a prolonged tensing of the muscles in the back. Pain and discomfort seems to go in waves, oftentimes lasting for several minutes. You’d think that this back issue would be common among the entire population, but oftentimes athletes are the ones visiting a back specialist to treat their spasms. But athletes are generally in good shape, so why are they more likely to suffer from spasms than the average Joe? We explain why in today’s blog.

Sports and Back Spasms

Back spasms tend to occur for a couple of common reasons, and once we explain why they tend to occur, you’ll understand why athletes are more prone to spasms. Here are three common reasons back spasms develop:

Excessive Motion

One of the most common reasons back spasms develop is because the spine experiences excessive motion. When we talk about excessive motion, we mean that the back has been thrust in a variety of different motions. It could be the motion from swinging a golf club or a baseball bat, the torque of a tennis serve or the stress from a spin move in basketball. These motions aren’t as common in your everyday life as they are on the court or field, so it’s no surprise that athletes can develop back spasms due to the excessive motion of their sport.

Extreme Muscle Exertion

Another reason that back spasms set in is because the muscles are overstressed. This hyper-flexion of muscles is common during activity, but it can also cause the back muscles to randomly contract or flex during periods of rest. Extreme muscle exertion is fine, but if you don’t give your spine enough time to recover, it can lead to spasms. Oftentimes athletes are asked to practice or play a game nearly every day of the week, so they really don’t give their spines much time off.

Single Muscle Group Worked

This isn’t too much of an issue for athletes who participate in a bunch of different sports throughout the year, but for some teens, they focus on one sport year-round. This means they are stressing the same muscles every day, all year. When one set of muscles is way more developed than a nearby muscle group, involuntary contractions, also known as spasms, can occur. Even if you’re set on focusing on just baseball or football, you should work some cross-training into your workout regimen. This way the rest of your muscles are developing evenly.

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