Spine Injuries from gymnastics, diving, golf, jumping or carrying a backpack
Pain in the low back (LBP) is very common in youth sports. The nature of landing in an extended position, while very good for scoring points in gymnastics and diving, dramatically increases the impact forces on the joints of the lumbar spine. This can lead to stress reactions or fractures of the joints. Weakness, especially eccentric weakness, of the abdominals and poor shock absorption from the lower extremities or hard practice surfaces contribute to this condition.
Vigorous rotation or twisting of the trunk can also lead to LBP. Golf and gymnastics, as well as other sports such as volleyball, basketball and soccer require high levels of rotational strength for performance and protection from injury.
Carrying a very heavy backpack, often greater than 30% of one’s body weight, also is a risk factor for developing LBP due to the load placed on the spine.
We will assess the strength, especially the eccentric shock absorption strength, coordination, range of motion, assessment of provocative movements and a thorough neural exam to determine the most effective program. Education about the condition and how one can continue to care for themselves with independent activities is the most important aspect of our therapy. You must know how to care for yourself!
Often, the most overlooked component is rest. Many of youth sports injuries result from overuse, especially when they are specializing in one sport. If your daughter has damaged tissue in addition to pain, she must rest to recover and then progressively perform her rehabilitation program to restore and improve her performance capacity.
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