Dancing With The Pain

As fans of Dancing with the Stars may know, Alfonso Ribeiro danced through his back pain last week after injuring himself during rehearsal. At 43 years old, part of his drive could be the fierce competition against some of the younger contestants. Alfonso was crying in pain during the judges’ critique, indicating that he may have made the wrong decision to dance through the pain.

Many of us have been in a similar situation, where pain interrupts our competitive edge during a sporting event. You may start having back pain two weeks before your marathon or in the middle of your final basketball game. When is it a safe to work through the back pain and when is it a good idea to rest and hold off on your competitive activities?

Twisting, lifting and making any quick motion required in competitive activities may lead toward lower back pain, if you are not moving with proper form. If your back pain can be described as an achiness with no leg pain, then your muscles may just be tired and tight and you may be safe to compete. However, if you experience a sharp pain with additional pain or numbness and tingling in your leg, it is best to sit out. Back pain that is accompanied by leg pain indicates that you may have irritated a disc or a joint, which is pinching a nerve. These warning signs could mean even more damage to the source of the pain.

If you are unsure whether you should rest or push through the pain you can consult with a physical therapist to help guide you. As for Alfonso we shall see if he will be able to dance tonight and we hope that he hasn’t pushed it a little too far.