Localized pain or discomfort in the lumbosacral region of the back. Low-back pain is a frequently encountered complaint of athletes and the general population. It is often caused by postural defects when the normal relationship between muscles, bones, and other tissues is distorted. Low-back pain may also be caused by shortening of the hamstrings following vigorous exercise that puts a strain on the back. Sometimes the origin of low-back pain may involve the vertebral column and its nerves, or it may be a referred pain from damaged or diseased organs in the pelvis and abdomen. Back pain resulting from postural defects, or overtight or strained muscles can be treated by analgesics and anti-inflammatories in the acute stage. When pain is relieved, exercises should be performed which improve posture, strengthen the abdominal muscles, and improve the flexibility of the hamstrings. See also ankylosing spondylitis, prolapsed intervertebral disc, spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis.
Weight-lifters are at risk if they do not adopt a good technique, including the correct posture. Reproduced with permission Photolibrary Group Limited.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.