After the summer break followed by lots of hard running in pre-season training, the body’s tissues are often not used to the type of movement they are experiencing, making acute lower back pain very common at the start of a new season. Football would be the most obvious sport for these types of injuries but they are also common occurrence long periods of inactivity.
While lower back pain is very complex and can be traced to a number of sources such as disc, bone, or muscle the fundamentals of good spinal health are relatively simple.
The last thing a player wants heading in to a new season is to increase the risk of injury; therefore steps must be taken to reduce the risk.
Steve Kemp, England’s lead physio is able to offer the following advice to any sportsmen looking to eliminate lower back pain. There are four key areas to focus on: Mobility, Control, Endurance and Strength.
- Mobility can be defined as the freedom of spinal movement to allow functional movements. If mobility is restricted anywhere along the spine, this can cause other areas to have to move excessively.
- Control should be a focus. An athlete should be able to control spinal movement while the other limbs move to perform sport. If the athlete is unable to control the spine during complex movements, this is a warning sign for not only spinal injury, but hip, groin and hamstring problems.
- Endurance should also be practiced. Once you can show control of the spine you have the work capacity to control this over a period of time. When you start to run you have no pain but as you continue to run, your back control reduces as you fatigue – leading to local inflammation of the tissues in your back. Working on the endurance capacity of the back is the next step to a strong healthy back.
- Finally you must have Strength. Once you’ve developed the mobility, control and endurance, only now are you ready to work with the strength and conditioning coaches for the complex lifts with increased load. Without this strong base, lower back injuries will be common.
For more information or to enquire about our physio services, please contact the Perform team on 01283 576333 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.