How to avoid sports-related back injury

Even the best athletes get injured sometimes. Recently, Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi hurt his back in a match against Honduras, causing him to prematurely exit the game without any timeline for his return, according to Sports Illustrated.

Back injuries are not  uncommon for athletes, especially younger ones. A 2009 study from the Journal of Sports Health found that sports like gymnastics, dance and soccer that involve repetitive extension, flexion and rotation are most often associated with low back injury and pain.

While it's fairly common to see this type of pain in these sports, there are still ways to prevent them. Here are some tips to help you:

Stretch it out
If you're an athlete, you likely already know the importance of stretching before physical activity, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're getting the best warm up for your back. For example, core-strengthening and aerobic exercises are a great way to prep your body for what it will experience during the game.

Just keep swimming
Swimming is a great workout that can strengthen core muscles and build up your endurance, which are ideal assets for avoiding back injury.  Additionally, it's low-impact, which means you don't have the same injury risk that you do in other forms of exercise.

"This is one sport that can be used as a training regimen," Mark Spoonamore, medical director of the Center for Spinal Surgery at the University of Southern California University Hospital and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, told Everyday Health.

Sit up straight
Off the field, your back health is still a priority. In your day to day, make sure you're maintaining proper posture so your back becomes strong and resistant to certain causes of injury.

If you're experiencing back pain after a sports injury, schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor today.