Low Back Pain In Athletes

by Administrator 19. August 2014 07:38

Low back pain occurs as a result of mechanical and chemical irritations to the intricate structure of lumbar spine, which provides support and flexibility to the body. Athletes who are involved in strenuous physical activities are at a greater risk of developing the problem. Sports like basketball, football, skiing, soccer, gymnastics, golf and cycling also put a lot of pressure on the back and impact it seriously. These injuries, whether minor or major have the potential to put athletes off the ground for a week up to several months. Low back pain is a problem that does not subside easily.


  • Hyperextension of the back due to improper playing techniques.
  • Herniated discs.
  • Insufficient strength of the abdominal muscles.
  • Intensive training undergone by the athletes.
  • Injuries to the soft tissue of the lumbar spine which includes the muscles, blood vessels, nerves and ligaments.
  • Spondylolysis, which can occur as a result of a crack in the bony muscles of the spinal column. It can come about as a result of repetitive stress on the spine and can even cause fractures. Sports like pole vaulting, gymnastics cause frequent hyperextension of the spine.
  • Spondylolisthesis, in which a crack forms on both sides of the bony rings causing the spine to slip forward.
  • Weightlifters are also prone to low back pain because of the excessive stress they put on their back.


When low back pain strikes, it can be treated by limiting physical activity. Using pain killers and applying ice can provide relief from the pain and swelling. If an athlete is suffering from Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis, they may need to wear braces to provide support to the back. Once the symptoms ease, the athletes can return to their sports but they must warm up before any physical activity. Herniated discs can be treated depending on the severity of the nerve dysfunction in the back. Physical therapy can heal the low back pain, improve the mobility of the back and help in regaining its strength. This treatment helps athletes to return to normal performance in sports. If the pain becomes intolerable and cannot be controlled with these methods, surgery can be an option.

Dr. Burg is a known orthopedic surgeon specializing in treating back pain problems resulting from herniated discs, spinal instability and other conditions. To schedule an appointment, call at (972) 727-9995

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