Sports Injuries

In addition to back injury from accidents or falls, our spine specialists commonly see sports injuries. They affect both elite athletes and people who are fairly sedentary until the weekend. Back injury is frequently caused by inadequate stretching or improper form. Treatment typically involves medication and physical therapy.

Before participating in any sport, it's important to have a complete warm-up. The warm-up is intended to prepare the muscles you'll be using, but at the same time, it helps your back accommodate rigorous exercise.

What's Involved in a Proper Warm-up

  • Increase circulation gradually
  • Stretch the upper and lower extremities, neck and back
  • Incorporate slow repetitions of the movement used in your sport, with attention to proper form

How Tennis Causes Back Pain

  • Tennis demands trunk rotation and torquing of the spine.
  • The serve involves hyper-extending the lower back, which can compress lumbar discs.
  • Start-and-stop movement and forward and side movements take a toll on the back.
  • Players often forget to bend their knees.

How Cycling Causes Back Pain

  • Riding posture can put a strain on the lumbar area.
  • A rough ride jars and compresses the spine.
  • Bicycles may not be properly fitted.
  • Cyclists may not do back strengthening exercise as part of their conditioning.

How Weightlifting, Bodybuilding and Resistance Training Cause Back Pain

  • Flexing muscles in the back against the weight can cause stress fractures, injure ligaments and strain muscles.
  • Older persons may already have some disc degeneration.
  • Some exercises, such as the clean-and-jerk, are inherently stressful.
  • People emphasize increasing weights rather than increasing reps.
  • People work out without using a spotter or wearing a belt.
  • Free weights make it easier to have improper posture and make improper motions that can cause injury.

How Golf Causes Back Pain

  • The bag can be too heavy; it should have a stand and two straps.
  • Players fail to bend at the knees to pick up the ball.
  • Proper form rotates the lumbar spine forcefully.
  • Force for the back swing involves disc and facet joint loading.

How Running Causes Back Pain

  • Back muscles hold the body upright.
  • Joints and discs suffer repeated compression with the concussion of landing on every stride.
  • Weak abdominal muscles can't help stabilize the back.

How Skiing Causes Back Pain

  • Back muscles have to hold the body in proper form.
  • Equipment is heavy.
  • Skiers sustain falls.
  • Skiers hit the slopes without devoting six weeks to conditioning.
  • Altitude can cause early fatigue and other symptoms that may affect general health.

How Swimming Causes Back Pain

  • Strokes like the crawl or breaststroke put the lower back in hyperextension.
  • Breathing on front strokes rotates the neck repeatedly.

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Patients will be seen in 24-48 hours whenever possible 


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5670 Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd.
Suite 950
Atlanta, GA 30342


Northside Hospital - Forsyth
Medical Office Building
1100 Northside-Forsyth Dr.
Suite 400
Cumming, GA 30041
Phone: (770) 844-3200



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