Sometimes rest really is the best treatment for
body aches and pains. In this study doctors show that stopping
sports for three months is the best medicine for
lower back pain in
young soccer players. Everyone in the study had a condition
called lumbar spondylolysis. This is a fracture in the
column of the vertebral bone.
Spondylolysis is a common cause of low back pain, especially
in young athletes. Many notice the pain started after a
high-velocity kick. The goal of this study was to find the best
treatment for this problem that would return the athlete to full
All patients were given the same treatment. Each one was
given a back brace to wear full-time for three months. They were
advised to stop all sports activities for at least three months.
They were also instructed in a rehab program of exercises.
The patients were divided into four groups based on how much
of the treatment plan they followed. Group one followed all the
directions. Group two stopped sports but didn't wear the brace.
Group three wore the brace but didn't stop playing sports. Group
four was completely noncompliant: they didn't follow any of the
Results showed that stopping all sports activity works better
than bracing for back pain from spondylolysis. This
stress-related injury can be treated without surgery. According
to these authors, playing soccer while wearing a brace may not
be a good idea.
Georges El Rassi, MD, et al. Lumbar
Spondylolysis in Pediatric and Adolescent Soccer
Players. In The Journal of Sports Medicine. November
2005. Vol. 33. No. 11. Pp. 1688-1693