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Types of Sports-Related Back Injuries

When participating in any sport, injuries to any part of the spine are possible, as well as injuries to the soft tissue and fascia that help comprise the makeup of the body. Up to 20% of all injuries that occur in sports involve an injury to the lower back or neck.

Lower Back Injury
The lower back is subject to a great deal of strain in many sports. Sports that use repetitive impact (e.g., running), a forceful twisting motion (e.g. golf), or weight loading at the end of a range of motion (e.g., weightlifting) commonly cause damage to the lower back.

Neck Injury

The neck is most commonly injured in sports that involve contact (e.g. football), which place the cervical spine (neck) at risk of injury.

Upper Back Injury

The thoracic spine (mid-portion of the spine at the level of the rib cage) is less likely to be injured because it is relatively immobile and has extra support. Injuries seen here can involve rib fracture and intercostal neuralgia as well as intercostal muscle strains in sports that involve rotation of the torso (e.g. weight training with rotation), swimming, golf, tennis and even skiing.

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