Young athletes experience many injuries in their sports. Loyola University Medical Center reports the 3rd most common
sports injury is low back pain in young athletes under 18 years old. They not only miss out on playing games during the injury but there is risk for more chronic problems down the road.
Dr. Neeru Jayanthi, a sports physician, and his colleagues presented the research at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando. 1,200 young athletes who sustained 843 injuries were in the study.
Low back pain in young athletes accounted for 15% of the injuries. The only more common injuries were knees at just over 31% and ankles at 16%. Other problems noted were concussions and headaches at 13.4%, shoulders 10.7% and hips 6.4%.
Most (61%) of the low back pain in young athletes were low risk injuries to the lumbar facet and sacroiliac joints. The other 39% were considered serious stress fractures or complications of stress fractures. If pain persists for more than 2 weeks it’s important to get checked immediately. When low back pain in young athletes is not treated properly it can lead to chronic back pain.
Dr. Jayanthi recommended several injury prevention tips:
- One day of rest if there is pain in a high risk area such as the back, shoulders or elbows. To take a week off if pain persists.
- Seek evaluation from a sports physician if symptoms last more than 2 weeks.
- Athletes that play racket sports should work on their form and strokes as well as limit back extension to less than 20 degrees.
- Children who are still developing physically should not play a sport for more hours per week than their age.
- Avoid specialization in one sport before late adolescence.
- Don’t play competitive sports all year long. Take a break for at least 1-3 months out of the year.
- Take a rest day once a week from sports training.
- Balance out time between playing sports and time in the gym and unorganized recreation.
Low back pain in young athletes is common due to extension of the low back. Also improper work out and exercise techniques are incorporated. Many younger athletes also have insufficient strength of the core stabilization abdominal and back extensor muscles.
Chiropractor in Freehold NJ, Dr. Russell Brokstein, has a background in treating sports related injuries. If you have a child who has been injured make sure you find a chiropractor with a sports background. Dr. Russell checks for imbalances of the joints and muscles to correct the actual cause of the pain and injury. It’s important that the chiropractor check for ankle, foot and knee instability that could lead to other spinal injuries. Once the cause is corrected, an active exercise and stretching regimen is incorporated to strengthen and stabilize the body and prevent future problems.
Low back pain in young athletes is becoming too common. Chiropractic is a gentle, natural treatment that corrects the cause of the problem. A recent study suggests that chiropractic is the best conservative treatment for back pain in athletes. If you are in Freehold or surrounding towns looking for a chiropractor call Dr. Russell or find out more about his practice: click here