Back or Neck Injuries on the Playing Field or Track

Any sport that involves repetitive motion (such as running, or soccer), a twisting motion (tennis or golf), or weight-loading at the end of the range of motion (weightlifting) may cause damage to the lower back resulting in back or neck injuries.

Back or Neck Injuries in runningThe cervical spine, or neck area, is most commonly injured in sports that involve contact (such as football or rugby).

The mid-spine (thoracic) area is less likely to be injured because it has extra support and is relatively immobile. However, sports that involve a rotation of the torso such as swimming, golf, tennis or skiing are associated with thoracic spine injuries.

Children who participate in sports are vulnerable to back and neck pain if their technique isn’t perfect, or if they are playing with youngsters who are larger or more powerful than they are.

Because children rarely complain about back pain unless there is a real problem, any mention of back or neck pain should trigger a visit to our clinic.

Back and Neck Injuries Common in Most Sport

Organized sports, especially for youngsters, get much of the attention when it comes to back or neck injuries. But in truth, any physical activity— as beneficial as it may be in other regards— may lead to back pain.

Bicycling, for instance, provides a good workout for the legs but bending forward for long periods of time can strain the back and neck muscles. Mountain biking on uneven surfaces can cause jarring and sudden compression of spinal structures.

Weight-lifting is another injury-prone sport, not just for youthful lifters but also for adults whose spinal discs may thin and become drier with age. Lifters are prone to a type of stress fracture called spondylolysis.

Golf, because of the great swing and rotation of the spine, stresses the spinal muscles, ligaments, joints and discs.

Tennis involves arching the back while serving as well as constant and abrupt starts and stops.

Running impacts not just the lower body but also the facet joints in the spine, which may be compressed by repeated pounding. For regular runners, an even and pliable surface and good running shoes are a must.

Skiers should strengthen the core muscles as well as the legs, to support the spine.

Swimming, although it is a low-impact sport, also involves some twisting and arching of the lower back as well as the cervical area while taking breaths.

Athletes who try to « play through pain » risk more serious injuries. Conclusively, back or neck injuries are a serious matter which should not be overlooked while undergoing pain.