Sport Injuries, Back Injuries, and Back Pain
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and sports are one approach many people choose to use to get their exercise.
For people with back pain, sports can still be a viable option if they pay attention to their back.
For others who participate in sports, knowing the type of strain various sports place on the back may help prevent a back injury.
Types of Sports-Related Back Injuries
When participating in any sport, injuries to any part of the spine are possible, as well as injuries to the soft tissue and fascia that help comprise the makeup of the body. Up to 20% of all injuries that occur in sports involve an injury to the lower back or neck.
Lower Back Injury
The lower back is subject to a great deal of strain in many sports. Sports that use repetitive impact (e.g., running), a twisting motion (e.g. golf), or weight loading at the end of a range-of-motion (e.g., weightlifting) commonly cause damage to the lower back.
The neck is most commonly injured in sports that involve contact (e.g., football), which place the cervical spine (neck) at risk of injury.
Upper Back Injury
The thoracic spine (mid portion of the spine at the level of the rib cage) is less likely to be injured because it is relatively immobile and has extra support. Injuries seen here can involve rib fracture and intercostal neuralgia as well as intercostal muscle strains in sports that involve rotation of the torso (e.g. weight training with rotation), swimming, golf, tennis, and even skiing.