Back pain affects a large percentage of the population. The causes for the pain are many and many can be managed conservatively. However, there are structural reasons that can severely cripple an athlete’s quality of life and the ability to compete. People are vastly different and there are many ways in which patients can manage pain. For some, immeasurable pain is tolerable and for others a little pain is incapacitating So putting aside pain as a cause for being crippled, motor and sensory dysfunction can produce significant disability. Numbness in a peripheral limb and inability to sense that feeling through a variety of tasks can prohibit an athlete from performing even basic tasks such as walking and running. Similarly, reduction or diminution in strength can produce a disastrous result in almost any athletic pursuit. Yet, both of these disabilities can occur with variations of several different types of back problems. The spine is a complicated array of bone, which protects nervous tissue that is critical to your function as an athlete.
Some of these structural issues can be treated conservatively and the body will essentially repair itself. However, many of these injuries will destroy a career without surgical intervention. If nervous tissue is compressed, it can be permanently damaged as can all of its downstream recipients like muscles. Without intervention, the nerves and indeed the muscles will never truly recover. Thus, back pain can be much more than back pain and can cause serious issues with the athlete.