Lower Back Pain in Soccer

Lower Back Pain Soccer

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 play again.

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 doctor's advice.

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





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