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There’s nothing more frustrating for an athlete than being unable to train and back pain can often be a cause of lengthy lay-offs.

We rely on our backs in many different types of lifts and exercises so a recurring injury can present major issues.

To avoid back pain there are some preventative measures you can take to stay off the treatment table. Here, Built for Athletes takes a look at five of the best.

Don’t Rush Back After A Niggle

Pushing hard in the gym can frequently result in a small tear of a muscle, ligament or tendon. If you ignore the discomfort and continue with full training, you run the risk of developing a chronic injury.

Unfortunately, that’s invariably what athletes will do because we love to train. Knowing when to listen to your body and back off is a skill in itself.

Keep A Strong Core

Maintaining strong muscles across your core will help keep the spine supported. If trunk training is something you neglect then building in frequent short sessions to your week is a good way to stay consistent.

Utilise dead time. That 10-minute work break could be used for a quick ab circuit rather than scrolling through social media.

Static Stretching

Stretching the back improves flexibility and helps lengthen the muscles after they have been shortened in a lifting session. Doing yoga poses like cat-cow, wide child’s pose or sphynx pose after training can help aid recovery.

Keep Proper Form

It sounds like an obvious point but it can’t be overstated. Improper technique is one of the most common causes of injury in sport, particularly when it comes to heavy lifting. One way of rectifying errors is to film yourself exercising and compare it to an example of the correct form.

Be Mindful Of Your Back In The Morning

The pressure in your spinal disks can more than double during sleep. This puts them at a higher risk or herniation if excessive forces are put through the spine an hour or two after waking, so taking extra care to keep a straight back and maintain good form if you do any heavy lifting becomes more important.

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