When I practiced massage therapy, clients frequently came to me seeking treatment for lower back pain. The back is extensive and consists of many muscles that run all the way up to the occipitus.
The discs of the vertebral column gradually get bigger in size, with the cervical spine being the smallest of the disc structures. The most common piece of back musculature that most people are familiar with is the thoracolumbar aponeurosis. This type of injury is where preventative care is most important (and we will go over that part more). This may sound like its not an injury at all, but it is a frequent condition among athletes. There are many treatments for back pain that a physical therapist, doctor, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or chiropractor will give you. Preventative care is extremely important for athletes especially if they want to be competitive.
A study was conducted in the Journal of Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australasia on the role of chiropractors as educators for preventative back injuries in the work place. Your time in the gym can be valuable in either preventing low back problems or rehabilitating them. Hamstring flexibility allows for anterior rotation (tilt) of the pelvis in forward flexion and posterior rotation in a sitting position. Abdominal strength and muscular endurance will maintain proper position of the pelvis and reinforce the back extensor fascia. Back extensor strength and endurance provide stability for the spine, maintain posture, and control forward flexion. Amber Larsen is a massage therapist, registered yoga teacher, biologist, CrossFit Level 1 trainer, CrossFit Gymnastics trainer, and kinesio tape practitioner. Amber has been an athlete all of her life, playing soccer as a child until she finished college. This condition involves a stretch or tear of one or more back muscles, ligaments, or tendons.
Whatever the treatment you have elected, you should always follow your practitioners program in its entirety. Physical therapists, doctors, and chiropractors can catch certain symptoms before they start and begin rehabilitation at the sign of a problem. In the study, chiropractors lectured participants on spinal injuries and how they could be prevented, including risk factors for injury and workplace awareness (so think gym-place awareness and athlete risk-factors). But first and foremost, always be cleared by your therapist before going full force into the gym.


Hopefully proper therapy, a slow pace coming back into fitness, and preventative measures will help athletes have a healthy lower back again. Other muscular structures of the back include the erector spinae, multifidi and rotatores, longissimus, spinalis thoracis, iliocostalis, serratus posterior inferior, quadratus lumborum, intertransversarii (located between the transverse process), and iliopsoas. The cause is usually a violent twist, jerking motion, or over-extension of the back muscles during a lifting session or even during bodyweight movement (think violent kips).
Spondyloysis is commonly found in those who participate in sports that have frequent hyperextension of the lumbar spine.
Being pain free is always the goal and if you know you have these issues take the necessary precautions to insure your back is safe. Many include iliopsoas with the muscles of the hip area, but when it comes to back pain, often the source of the pain comes from the psoas (that’s short for iliopsoas).
The problem with this type of injury is that if the athlete is not fully rehabilitated, the chances are extremely high for it to develop into chronic lower back pain. Spondylolysis can be asymptomatic, but if symptoms occur the condition usually feels like chronic back pain. There are several causes including past injuries that have not healed, anatomical abnormalities, faulty posture, and poor physical conditioning.
The dollar amount allocated to treatment was $451 in the six months prior to the training from the chiropractors – and only $194 in the first three months after.
All you athletes who like to go to, maybe, two physical therapy sessions and go back to training - it may not be in your best interest to half-ass your therapy. Each disc has an outer ring of fibers called the annulus and a jelly-like center called the nucleus pulposus. The concern with this type of injury is that because of the pain the athlete will unconsciously not engage the muscles of the back to perform activities and exercises, which only worsens the situation. This is proof that getting educated on caring for your lower back can save your money and your gym performance.
A herniated disc causes pressure to the disc’s outer fiber causing it to rip and for the nucleus to rupture out of its normal space.
The discs act as cushions between the spinal bones and allow for movement such as bending and reaching.A herniated disc, more commonly referred to as a slipped disc, occurs when a disc in the spine pushes through weakened areas in the spinal column. Symptoms of this condition include numbness, change in reflexes, and tingling in extremities. Sometimes this causes nearby nerves to become agitated by the disc pressure, causing even more pain.Unless an injury is the cause of the herniated disc, the pain can gradually build for days, even weeks, before becoming more intense and debilitating. This type of injury requires that the athlete see a sports medicine doctor or chiropractor for treatment.
In some cases, unless the disc is putting pressure on nearby nerves, you may not even have much pain alerting you to the problem.For others, however, the pain can become noticeably worse after long periods of standing, sitting, or after sleeping or lying down.


Chances are if you’re overweight you may also be less active causing the muscles in your back to weaken over time.
Extra weight without adequate muscle support puts you at a greater risk for injury as your lower back cannot support the extra weight.TreatmentWhether the cause of your pain is from injury or deterioration, there are many treatments available. A doctor will be able to diagnose a herniated disc by performing a simple examination and asking questions about your symptoms.
In some cases, your doctor will order an MRI or CT scan to rule out other possible diagnoses.Once your doctor has diagnosed the herniated disc and its severity, you will have a better idea for treatment.
Because inactivity can actually make the situation worse, your doctor may only suggest bed rest if you have severe pain. Your doctor should discuss all other possible treatments as back surgery is invasive and requires significant recovery time. This method is used mostly for individuals with intense, debilitating pain that have experienced zero relief from traditional exercises and therapies.Removal of the herniated disc tissue which reduces the size of the herniation. This method is used more commonly in patients whose disc has not completely ruptured but is a less popular option among surgeons.PreventionOf course the best scenario is that you never have to suffer from a herniated disc again.
Take these precautionary measures to help prevent future incidents:Maintain a healthy weight.
This can also exacerbate the natural dehydration of the disc gel that occurs with age.Learn good posture and employ those techniques. You should also maintain good posture and keep both feet flat on the floor while sitting for long periods of time, such as while sitting at your desk at work.Most people will suffer from back pain at some point in their life, but taking precautions and knowing how to treat current back pain will go a long way in maintaining a healthy, strong back for many years to come.
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Runner's Butt High Hamstring Tendonopathy Lower Leg & Knee Common Running Knee Injuries Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) Runner's Knee Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome) Stress Fractures Osgood-Schlatters Disease Foot & Ankle Achilles Bursitis Achilles Tendonitis Achilles Tendonopathy Heel Pain Metatarsalgia Metatarsalgia, Morton’s Neuroma, and Ball of Foot Pain Morton's Neuroma Plantar Fasciitis Plantar Fasciitis & The Strassburg Sock Plantar Plate Sprains Sesamoiditis Bunions Misc. Achilles TendonosisTendinitis can correct itself using rest, ice, compression and elevation.
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