Back Pain is raising concerns again in Major League Baseball (MLB). Los Angeles Angels pitcher, Jered Weaver, sustained an injury to his lower back during a recent game against the Yankees. According to sports media he was diagnosed with a muscle strain in his lower back after experiencing muscle spasms.1,2 Weaver made a statement to the press following his diagnosis indicating that he would be out for the next few games to rest.1,2
Back pain and dysfunction has been identified as one of the most common reasons of missed playing time amongst athletes.3 A recent study surrounding the epidemiology of MLB injuries demonstrated that injuries of the spine and core muscles accounted for more than 11% of the injuries reported from 2002 to 2008. The study also concluded that pitchers had an overall injury rate 34% higher than that of an outfielder.4
Your back consists of an intricate system of muscles all with specific functions. These muscles are a key component for structural support and body movement. Therefore, it is important to know that muscle strain is not exclusive to athletes. It is a common occurrence amongst both athletes and non-athletes. The risk of muscle strain prompts frequent discussions including injury etiology, symptoms, and treatment options.
Strain is a term used to describe a muscle injury. By definition it is an over stretching or tearing of the junction where a muscle is becoming a tendon. This type of injury can occur in any part of your spine. It is frequently caused by poor body mechanics, posture, overuse, and even trauma. It can also be caused by the repetitive physical activity of your favorite recreation. Symptoms of a muscle strain may include localized pain and or stiffness. Rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, and Ice and/ or heat are routine treatment options for this type of injury.
Spine health maintenance is a pivotal element in your daily life. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are prevention strategies that can help keep you in the game. Put forth your best effort to take care of your back and it will take care of you.
Associated Press. (2012, May 29). Angels ace Jered Weaver placed on 15-day DL with lower-back woes; prospect Richards recalled. Retrieved May 30, 2012, from The Washington Post.
Beacham, G. (2012, May 29). Angels ace Weaver to DL with lower-back woes. Retrieved May 30, 2012, from The Miami Herald.
Bono, C. (2004). Current Concepts Review Low-Back Pain In Athletes. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery , 86-A (2), 382-396.
Posner, M., Cameron, K., Moriatis Wolf, J., Belmont, P., & Owens, B. (2011). Epidemiology of Major League Baseball Injuries. The American Journal of Sports Medicine , 39 (8), 1676-1680.