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Man with back pain

Lower Back Pain
in Sports

Lower Back Pain in Sports

Lower Back Pain is something you don't want to take "wait and see" approach.

It's well documented in the research that the earlier you have your lower back pain attended to, the more favorable your outcome will be and less downstream related medical costs incurred!

Lower back pain can be tricky as it's still not that well understood in the research. It can often be difficult to determine the exact structure which is causing your lower back symptoms, even if you have extensive investigations and scans. There is some research that categorizes different structural causes of pain in the lower back, for example: 

Discogenic Lower Back Pain

This is when your symptoms are potentially coming from one or more of the discs in your lower back.

The spinal disc is an essential component of the spinal column. It is a round, flat cushion-like structure that sits between the vertebrae (the bones that make up the spine). The disc consists of two main parts: the outer ring (annulus fibrosus) and the inner core (nucleus pulposus).

Diagram of a Spinal Disc
a diagram of a bulging slipped disc

"Bulging Disc", "Herniated Disc", "Slipped Disc" - There are often talked about quite commonly and will regularly appear on MRI findings, even for people without lower back pain! Numerous studies have been 

carried out where researchers will scan the lower backs of people without any lower back pain, and 

often there discs will appear herniated, degenerated, protruded etc etc. But they have no Pain! 

(See table below).

A table showing age specific estimates of degenerative spine imaging

What's even more strange, is that often those who present with "textbook" discogenic lower back pain, will have no "abnormal" findings on MRI! So how do we go about determine where your symptoms are coming from to direct our treatment?

This is often where the clinical assessment will come in. There are a number of functional and clinical tests we are able to perform to aim to identify the potential source of pain, or the structure which may be causing your pain, so we can therefore direct our treatment accordingly. 

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