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Spine and Sport

Often the questions of what sport can I do, how hard can I play sports and how can I prevent the wear on the spine come up when there is back pain and/or after disc surgery. In principle, a distinction between sports that are made for the fun of it (tennis, golf) or to keep the stamina fit (running, cycling) and exercises specifically geared to strengthening the muscles and segment stabilization (Pilates, back pain, Kieser-Training).

As a result of a spinal disease, pain is often related to relieving posture / bad posture. This causes on the unloaded side a muscle breakdown, leading to disruption of the spinal balance and Lotverschiebung. On X-rays a flat back and / or a lateral curvature (scoliosis), and sometimes an extra twist (rotation) are seen frequently.
The body tries to counter the loss of elasticity with more stability, in which it reinforced the existing structures (vertebral bodies and joints). Unfortunately, this happens regardless of the nerves, so that there is a narrowing of the spinal canal. Also the body often does not manage to stabilize the spine and to restore the focus sufficiently, especially when the muscles become weak and there is also overweight, so that there are severe deformities.

poor posture

Sport after a spinal operation


Are the changes too pronounced, often conservative therapies cannot help anymore and surgical correction must be made to restore the spinal column statics, to prevent strain and to relieve neural structures (e.g. disc surgery, spinal disc prosthesis or spine stabilization). The surgery is only a repair that is not enough to preserve a permanent success of the balance of the various elements of the spine. Therefore, a vertebral column-equitable lifestyle for a long-term success is condition. Sport plays an important role. Through sport muscular strength and endurance training and courses of motions are harmonized.
In general, the sports differ in their spine compatibility. Thus, there are straight on sports (e.g. running), which are well tolerated. Then there are sports that require coordination and reflexes and are connected with a permanent change of position such as tennis or squash. These are particularly vertebral column incompatible sports.

In the first six weeks after a spinal operation  though you should also relinquish the straight on sports like jogging, biking and fitness training. Possible are light swimming (backstroke), stabilizing the spine and back exercise gym. When there is back pain, aqua-fitness is particularly suitable because the buoyancy of water relieves the spine. You must be sure that not provoke pain.

Recommended sports beyond the sixth Week:
Hiking and walking (ensure good shoes).
Jogging (not asphalt) Observe the correct posture. Recommended is the so-called dolphin-style, that is, trunk lean forward, lower look. This has the best cushioning for the spine
Cycling (make sure the correct position of seat and handlebar. Ideal form is the so-called ergonomic triangle whose vertices are saddle, handlebars and pedals.) When in doubt, get advice at the bike shop.
Gymnastics and dancing (soft, flowing movements)
Swimming (breast stroke is unfavourable when the head is held permanently, as it leads to hyperextension of the neck. It is favourable to have your head under water in the sliding phase, in an extended position). It is better to swim back or crawl.