Steve Nash Is Putting His Season – and Spine – to Rest

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After years of running, jumping, dribbling and dunking, NBA all-star Steve Nash officially announced that he will be sitting out of the 2014-2015 season due to nerve damage caused by spondylolisthesis, a degenerative spinal condition. The forty-year-old basketball legend started experiencing back pain in 2012 after he collided with an opponent while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. This collision caused his nerve root to become irritated and resulted in back and leg pain that has persisted ever since. Earlier this month, Nash reinjured his back after he lifted his bags incorrectly - an injury that may take him out of the game indefinitely.

Spondylolisthesis occurs more commonly among athletes who are constantly twisting and hyperextending their spine. Over time, these forceful motions can cause one vertebra to slip forward over another, resulting in a pinched spinal nerve. Some common symptoms includelow back pain and sciatica, a pain or weakness in one or both legs or thighs.

The best way to prevent injury to your spine is to stay hydrated, eat healthy, exercise regularly and use proper bending, lifting and twisting mechanics. You can find free instructional videos about these techniques and other proper body mechanics on our Back to Basics page. These videos are a great source of information on ways you can keep your spine safe and pain-free as you go about your everyday activities.

Follow Nash’s example and call your doctor if you are experiencing pain that is affecting your daily routine. The severity of Nash’s condition is unknown, so it is still too early to tell if his injury will take him out of the game permanently. After receiving proper treatment and completing his physical therapy, we believe that he will be able to live an active lifestyle for years to come. We wish him a safe and speedy recovery!

If your back pain is affecting your daily activities, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at the Spine Health Institute. He can help get you back up and running in no time.

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