Low back pain and injury is a common affliction for patients involved in athletic endeavors. For this reason, the health care professional should be cognizant of age-related and sports-specific considerations when evaluating athletes with low back complaints. An elevated index of suspicion with regard to specific etiologies of back pain proves invaluable in order to avoid the misdiagnosis of a more serious problem. Although a number of conditions exist that require more aggressive evaluation and treatment, the majority of low back pain in athletes is self-limiting. In this context, a treatment plan designed to increase low back and abdominal muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion often proves beneficial not only in returning the athlete to competition, but also in preventing injury recurrence.
Address: Spine Institute/University of Louisville Leatherman Spine Center, 210 East Gray Street, Suite 900, Louisville, KY 40202, USA. E-mail: MTrain47@hotmail.com
© 2004 American College of Sports Medicine