REVIEW: LOW BACK PAIN IN ATHLETES -CAUSES AND REHABILITATION STRATEGIES-
Savaş KUDAŞ1, Mehmet YÖRÜBULUT2, Emin ERGEN3
1Ankara Atatürk Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi Spor Hekimliği Bölümü, Ankara
2İntegra Görüntüleme Merkezi, Ankara
3Ankara Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Spor Hekimliği Anabilim Dalı, Ankara
Keywords: Athlete, back injuries, low back pain
Although the prevalence of low back pain in the general population is about 80-90 %, it is reported as 1-30 % among athletes. General risk factors of low back pain are occupational activities such as repeated heavy lifting, pulling or rotational movements, as well as alterations in spinal biomechanics and geometry, obesity and physical inactivity. Potential risk factors in sports are also reported as abnormal lumbar curvature, bone deformities, hypermobility, muscular strength imbalance, excessive fat weight, advanced training years, poor conditioning, improper equipment, poor technique, repetitive activities and training errors. Baseball, golf, gymnastics, football, swimming, weightlifting, ballet, throwing sports and bicycling are the most common sports with a high risk of low back pain. Lifetime prevalence of low back pain in some sports are reported to be 79 % in gymnasts, 65 % in skiers, 63 % in rowers, 54 % in wrestlers, 37 % in football players, 33 % in golfers, and 32 % in tennis players. Management of low back pain is planned according to the acute or chronic nature of the problem. Treatment in the acute phase includes short term rest, ice, medications, and gradual muscle stretching and strengthening exercises. Chronic phase treatment modalities include high intensity exercise programs to restore lumbar and lower extremity range of motion and muscle strength. Prevention strategies include posture, and lifting technique corrections, use of effective warm-up periods and training methods, and maintenance of appropriate environmental conditions.