Estimates are that about 10-15% of athletes suffer from low back pain. Sports that place high physical demands on the lumbar spine, such as football and dancing, have higher rates of low back pain than sports that require less physical effort. Despite having superior strength and flexibility as compared to the general population, athletes experience low back pain due to repetitive flexion, extension, and axial force movements on their spine. The increased stress placed on the lower back by elite athletes has been demonstrated by numerous studies that show multiple injury patterns in the lumbar spine. We can diagnose and treat back injuries and spinal injuries at Dignity Health. Contact a sports medicine physician today.
Affected spinal nerves are often the cause of the signs and symptoms of common spine disorders. Spinal conditions that affect your spinal cord can cause a variety of symptoms since it transmits nerve signals throughout your body.
Symptoms of nerve damage include:
■ If the affected nerves are in your arms or legs, you may experience pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness
■ Walking or climbing stairs is difficult due to a lack of coordination
■ Incontinence or inability to control the bowels or bladder
You need to see a sports medicine physician if you are experiencing nerve pain coupled with back pain. When spinal conditions and injuries require rapid diagnosis and treatment, urgent (same day) care may be required.
The spine is divided into four regions:
- The lumbar region (low back)
- Neck (cervical region)
- The thoracic region (mid and upper back)
- The sacrum (pelvic region)
The following conditions and injuries affect the spine:
- Herniated discs
- Stenosis of the lumbar spine
- Tumors of the spine
- Compression of the spinal nerves
- A fractured spine
- Spinal scoliosis
- Disc compression
- Deformity of the spine
In most cases, spinal conditions are caused by traumatic injuries. Car accidents account for almost half of all spinal injuries. Injuries can also be caused by diving, contact sports, horseback riding, and other sports.
Maintaining a healthy back can be achieved by:
- It is important to avoid slouching and keep your head and shoulders in line, whether you are sitting or standing, to maintain good posture
- Workplace ergonomics
- By using proper body mechanics when lifting, you should lift with your legs and maintain a close connection between your body and the object you are carrying.
- Using common sense and appropriate protective equipment when engaging in contact sports and other high-risk physical activities
- Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce strain on your back
- Not “working through” pain. Taking a break from athletic training or physical activities as soon as you feel back pain
- Visit a sports medicine physician for a checkup