Member Case Study: Extreme Lower Back Pain

author : AMSSM
comments : 1

Member question from silvercannonca
I did marathons for about ten years, never any problems. About a year ago, I started playing basketball three times a week in addition to running and biking. Initially, I started having tightness behind my right knee. That turned into a shooting pain in my lower back, and now, whenever I run any distance, the next day, I can hardly sit in my chair at work. Sitting on an airplane is torture.

 

 

I've continued to run, bike and swim as it doesn't hurt while exercising, but the aftermath is excruciating. No muscle soreness, only the shooting pain in my back. I went for an MRI, no hernia or any other problems picked up on MRI. I have gone to the chiropractor and the acupuncturist - no help. Any ideas what the trouble is and what to do?
 

Answer from Dr. Russell Adams

Member AMSSM

This is a very perplexing case that you have described. The first thing that I would say needs to clarified is whether these complaints are separate issues or all part of one global problem. My initial reaction is that if you are able to exercise without any issue some type of disc herniation is unlikely. Not sure which area you are describing when you say that the MRI did not pick up any problems.

 

For starters, obviously basketball is a much different form of exercise than just straight running. The forces on you lower extremity are much different. What type of shoes are you wearing during these different types of exercise? How old are they? Ideally we could take a look at them. I would ask if you have been stretching appropriately. Certainly focusing on your hamstrings would be very important. Without proper stretching, playing basketball with the way you are running and jumping can cause your hamstrings to get tight. As you get a little older (I know, terrible thing to say), your body will not just stretch out on its own. Tight hamstrings are a common cause of back problems. They initially attach up in the pelvis and can pull on your back muscles if there is some constriction in their length. Since they start up in the posterior pelvis and end in the posterior knee region, they would be where I would focus my initial attention.

 

I would probably look into a local sports physician to help further evaluate your condition. A comprehensive physical exam by a physician with some knowledge in running or lower extremity injuries would be great. At minimum, I would have a physical therapist evaluate you if you do not have a sports physician available to you. I hope that this has been of some help, good luck.

 

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date: May 25, 2009

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AMSSM

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

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avatarAMSSM

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

FIND A SPORTS MEDICINE DOCTOR

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