Sports-related injuries are sometimes inevitable. And if they occur in the back and are not properly treated, they can lead to chronic pain and even paralysis. Most back injuries usually occur due to repetitive overuse of spine structures.
Here are the most common back injuries in various sports:
This injury occurs due to the slipping of the vertebrae, mostly to the lower part of the spine. The slipping causes the vertebra to move forward, backward, or above a bone. This condition is common in athletes who take part in sports that involve twisting and the hyperextension of the backbone, for example, gymnastics.
Patients usually complain of a pain that worsens, especially when the back is arched. Treatment involves extended resting periods and prescribed medication while doing specific exercises that help stretch inflexible muscles.
This condition is common in young athletes, and it causes back pain, mostly in the mid back. A rounded back that usually worsens to a dome shape while the back bends forward is common. Treatment involves relieving the symptoms by doing back extension exercises. Other cases require surgery, stabilization, and rehabilitation.
Lumbar Scheuermann’s Disease
Lumbar Scheuermann’s disease is common in athletes who take part in the sports that involve quick flexion and extension, like rowing and diving. It involves the fracturing of the end plate in the lumbar vertebrae and apophyseal avulsions. Recovery includes enrolling into a physiotherapy program to stretch the thoracolumbar fascia and other stabilization exercises.
Apophyseal Avulsion Fracture
This type of fracture occurs in sports that cause injury to the apophysis cartilaginous ring, like volleyball and wrestling. The condition leads to the displacement of the ring to the posterior of the spinal cord and the intervertebral disc. Treatment involves adequate rest, medications, and deep tissue massage.
Herniated Nucleus Pulposus
Herniated nucleus pulposus occurs when great pressure is exerted on the outer fibers of a disc causing it to tear, rupturing the nucleus from its normal position. The compression of the nerves caused by herniation leads to numbness, tingling sensation in the arms and legs, and change in the body reflexes. Athletes who bear excessive weight and stress, like weightlifters, experience this condition. In rare cases, the patient loses control over his or her bowels due to paralysis. The treatment depends on the symptoms exhibited by the patient and the level of irritation to the nerves.
The musculoligamentous strain is a term is used to describe back strain, which is the leading cause of back injuries in athletes. It involves injuries to the soft tissue of the spine such as tendons, muscles, and blood vessels. It is caused by inappropriate body mechanics, improper conditioning, and inadequate stretching.