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Low back pain is one of the most common types of pain athlete’s experience. This source of pain can be a huge burden, causing missed playing time and sports-related injuries. Athletes that are often the most affected by low back pain include weightlifters, gymnasts, golfers, rowers, divers and football players. There are several different causes of low back pain that can leave an impact on these athletes.

Causes of Low Back Pain in Athletes

One of the most common causes of low back pain is muscle strain. A violent or jerking motion, or an over-extension of the back muscles usually causes back muscle strains. This causes one or more back muscles, tendons or ligaments to stretch or tear. If this is not treated or fully rehabilitated, it can eventually lead to chronic lower back pain. Another common cause of low back pain is a herniated disc. A herniated disc puts pressure on the disc’s outer fiber causing it to rip and the nucleus to rupture, resulting in symptoms of numbness and changes in reflexes.

Past injuries that have not healed, incorrect posture and poor physical conditioning can also cause mechanical lower back pain. This type of injury is a frequent condition athlete’s experience, causing them to have general back pain, stiffness and a restricted range of motion. Because of the pain, athletes will unconsciously not engage their back muscles to perform activities or certain exercises, making the condition even worse without them knowing it.

Treatment of Low Back Pain in Athletes

There are numerous treatments for athletes with low back pain, many of them being non-invasive. Ranging from therapists to medications’, athletes can feel relief and go back to their daily and physical activities with the right treatment. Below are the most beneficial treatments for athletes with low back pain.

Heat or Ice

Applying a cold ice pack or heating pad to the lower back can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation and increase mobility in athletes. Ice packs should be applied to the lower back several times a day for at least 20 minutes to see beneficial results. After a few days of cold treatment, athletes should switch to heat treatment in the form of a heating pad or hot bath. The heat will loosen the tight muscles that are causing them pain.


Physical activity is an effective way for athletes to recover faster from their lower backaches and pains. Performing core exercises can help strengthen the muscles in the abdomen and back that support the spine. The stronger those muscles become, the less likely athletes will experience pain in their lower back.

Spinal Mobilization

Spinal manipulation is one of the most effective ways to treat lower back pain. It helps relieve lower back pain by reducing pressure placed on the spine, increasing flexibility, improving blood flow and reducing muscle tension.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy plays an important role in treating and preventing lower back pain. Physical therapists will design a program based on an athlete’s condition that combines strengthening, stretching and low-impact exercises.  These exercises will help strengthen the muscles of the back that support the spine, which in turn will decrease lower back pain, increase functionality and prevent further back pain in the future.

Anti-Inflammatory or Prescription Medication

Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can be used as a type of pain reliever for athletes experiencing lower back pain. This type of medication helps effectively reduce pain and inflammation in the lower back. However, if an athlete’s lower back pain becomes chronic, doctors may also prescribe stronger prescription medication. The type of medication prescribed usually depends on the patient’s particular issue in the lower back and overall health.

SOURCE: https://impactphysicaltherapy.com/2016/09/how-to-treat-athletes-with-low-back-pain/

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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