Lumbar spine (L-Spine) injuries in football are quite rare with an incidence of 6%. While the rate of injury is relatively low, 36% of players complain about low back pain. This makes back pain almost as common as thigh problems (40%) and even more common than hip and groin pain (24%).1 Spine injuries and chronic low back pain are responsible for between 15% and 22% of premature career ending in professional football players.2
The lifetime prevalence of back pain in youth players already exceeds 40%.3 While back pain seems to be common in this group, recent data suggest that this rate is lower than the prevalence in school children with low levels of physical activity.4 As a result, football might rather have a beneficial effect on back pain in childhood.
In this module you will learn about the general role of the lumbar spine in football players from a biomechanical viewpoint. You will review the available clinical assessment and diagnostic tools. You will also learn about the three most frequent pathologies – soft tissue injuries, spondylolysis and problems arising from the intervertebral disc.